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FORM NO. 609: 11.28,52: 50M. 



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The STEEESMA2T SEEMED TO LOSE CONTROL,"— Page 21. 

Frontispiece, 




THE ISLAND QUEEN ; 

~~ OB. A-^^ 

DETHRONED BY FIRE AND WATER. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 
BY E. M. BALLANTYNE, 



AUTHOR OF " THE WILD M.\N OF THE WEST ; " "THE RED ERIC ; " " FREAK.S ON THE FELLS j" 

"THE YOUNG TRAWLER ; " '^S&^iVplXMiUlXm ; " "" T H K JJATTER Y AND THE BOILER ; " 

"the GIANT OF THE NORTH ;" ' ' ! os i }i asTR ; A "MLE i6f HER MAJESTY'S MAILS ; " 

"in THE TRACK OF THE TROOPS;" "'IHK SETTLER AND THE SAVAGE;" 

"under THE WAVES;" "RIVERS OF ICE;" "BLACK IVORY;" "THE 

PIRATE city;" "the NORSEMEN IN THE WEST;" "tHE IRON 

horse;" "the FLOATING LIGHT OF THE GOODWIN SANDS ; " 

" erling the bold;" "fighting the flames;" 
"shifting winds;" "deep down;" "the 
■*fciGHTHors»l" "gascoyne;" "the lifeboat ;" 
the/golden dream," "the lonely 
island ; " ETC. etc 










LONDON 

JAMES NISBET & CO., LIMITED 

21 BEENERS STREET 

[All rights reserved] 



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PREFACE. 

It may strike the reader that some of the astounding 
convulsions described in this tale are slightly exaggerated. 
I write this preface for the purpose of correcting such 
false impression. The truth is, that in treating of the 
explosive proclivities of Nature and the wonderful eccen- 
tricities of mankind, I have rather reduced than intensified 
the colouring, 

JTarrow-on-thxs Hill, 

1885. 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 
CHAP. I.— THE OPEN BOAT, 1 

II. — WRECKED ON A REEF, 16 

III.— EXPLORATIONS AND DISCOVERIES, 36 

IV. — DIFFICULTIES MET AND OVERCOME, 58 

v.— STIRRING EVENTS AND CHANGES, 79 

VI.— SHIPWRECKED EMIGRANTS AND HORRIFIED CONSPIRATORS, . 102 

VIL— TREATS OF BIG ISLAND— A GREAT FIGHT AND A ROYAL 

FAMILY, 125 

Vin. — THE CORONATION— CROWN-MAKING DELIBERATIONS, CERE- 
MONIALS, AND CATASTROPHES, H7 

IX.— SHOWS HOW THEY WERE TORMENTED BY AN OLD FAMILIAR 
FIEND ; HOW THEY KILLED HIM, AND WHAT BEFELL THE 
QUEEN AND OTTO WHILE IN THE PURSUIT OF LEGITIMATE 
PLEASURE, 169 

X.— DESCRIBES A RESCUE, A CONSPIRACY, AND A TRIAL, . . 192 

XI.— SHOWS HOW THE QUEEN CONDUCTED HERSELF IN TRYING 

CIRCUMSTANCES, AND WAS FINALLY DETHRONED, . . 215 

XII.— LAST CHAPTER, 12^9 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

"THE STEERSMAN SEEMED TO LOSE CONTROL" 

(p. 21), , i . . . , Frontispiece. 

''AS EACH MAN ENTERED HE STOOD STOCK 

STILL— DUMB," 98 

"PAULINE WAS ON HER KNEES," . . . 109 

" DON'T SPARE THEM, JOHN !" . . . .174 

"JUST THEN A SAVAGE ROSE AND POISED 

A SHORT SPEAR," 197 

"A TERRIBLE OUTBURST OF THE VOLCANO 

SETTLED THE MATTER," .... 1U 



THE ISLAND QUEEK: 



OB, 



DETHRONED BY FIEE AND WATER. 

A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 



I»l 



CHAPTER I. 



THE OPEN BOAT. 



IHAELY one morning, in the year 18—, the great 
Southern Ocean was in one of its calmest moods, 
insomuch that the cloudlets in the blue vault above were 
reflected with almost perfect fidelity in the blue hemi- 
sphere below, and it was barely possible to discern the 
dividing-line between water and sky. 

The only objects within the circle of the horizon that 
presented the appearance of solidity were an albatross 
sailing in the air, and a little boat floating on the sea. 

The boat rested on its own reflected image, almost 
motionless, save when a slight undulation of the water 



2 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

caused the lower edge of its reflection to break off in oily- 
patches ; but there was no dip of oars at its sides, no 
rowers on its thwarts, no guiding hand at the helm. 

Evidently the albatross regarded the boat with curio- 
sity not unmixed with suspicion, for it sailed in wide 
ound it, with outstretched neck, heau turned on 
!, and an eye bent inquiringly downward. By 
rees the circles diminished, until the giant bird 
Imost directly over the boat. Then, apparently, 
nore than enough to satisfy its curiosity, for, 
a hoarse cry, it swooped aside, and, with a flap 
^hty wings, made off towards the horizon, where 
disappeared. 

p and the cry seemed, however, to have put life 
little boat, for a human head rose slowly above 
the gunwale. It was that of a youth, of about twenty 
years of age, apparently in the last stage of exhaustion. 
He looked round slowly, with a dazed expression, like 
one who only half awakes from sleep. Drawing his hand 
across his brow, and gazing wistfully on the calm sea, he 
rose on his knees with difi&culty, and rested his arms on 
a thwart, while he turned his gaze with a look of intense 
anxiety on the countenance of a young girl who lay in 
the bottom of the boat close beside him, asleep or dead. 

" It looks like death," murmured the youth, as he bent 
over the pale face, his expression betraying sudden 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. S 

alarm ; " and it must — it must come to that soon ; yet I 
cannot bear the thought. God, spare her !" 

It seemed as if the prayer were answered at once, for a 
fluttering sigh escaped from the girl's bloodless lips, but 
she did not awake. 

" Ah ! sk ;p on, dear sister," said the youth, "it * 
the comfort that is left to you now. Oh for food ! 
often I have wasted it ; thought lightly of it ; grui 
because it was not quite to my taste ! What would 
give for a little of it now — a very little !" , 

He turned his head away from the sleeping girl, { 
wolfish glare seemed to shoot from his eyes as they rested 
on something which lay in the stern of the boat. 

There were other human beings in that boat besides 
the youth and his sister — some still living, some dead, 
\ for they had been many days on short allowance, and the 
last four days in a state of absolute starvation — all, save 
Pauline Eigonda and her little brother Otto, whose fair 
curly head rested on his sister's arm. 
^ During the last two nights, when all was still, and the 
starving sailors were slumbering, or attempting to slumber, 
Dominick Eigonda — the youth whom we have just intro- 
duced to the reader — had placed a small quantity of 
broken biscuit in the hands of his sister and little 
brother, with a stern though whispered command to eat it 
secretly and in silence. 



4: THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

Obediently they ate, or rather devoured, their small 
portion, wondering where their brother had found it 
Perchance they might have relished it less if they had 
known that Dominick had saved it off his own too scant 
allowance when he saw that the little store in the boat 
was drawing to an end — saved it in the hope of being able 
to prolong the lives of Pauline and Otto. 

This reserve, however, had been also exhausted, and 
;*■ seemed as if the last ray of hope had vanished from 
A^ominick's breast on the calm morning on which our tale 
opens. 

As we have said, the youth glared at something lying 
in the stern of the boat. It was a tarpaulin, which covered 
a human form. Dominick knew that it was a dead body 
— that of the cabin-boy, who had died during the night 
with his head resting on Dominick's arm. The two men 
who lay sleeping in the bow knew nothing of his ' ^ath, 
and they were so weak from exhaustion at the time the 
boy died that Dominick had thought it unnecessary to 
rouse them. The poor boy's emaciated frame could lie 
till morning, he thought, and then the sleepers would 
assist him to put it gently into the sea. 

But when morning came, the pangs of hunger assailed 
the self-denying youth with terrible power, and a horrible 
thought occurred to him. He opened a large clasp-knife, 
and, creeping towards the body, removed the tarpaulin. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 5 

A faint smile rested on the dead lips — the same smilf 
that had moved them when Dominick promised to ca 
the bov's last lovinf][ message to his mother if he shoi 
survive. 

He dropped the knife with a convulsive shudder, ai 
turned his eyes on his sleeping sister and brother. Th( . 
he thought, as he picked up the knife again, how sma 
an amount of food would suffice to keep these two ali\ 
for a few days longer, and surely a sail must come i 
sight at last ; they had waited for it, expectingly, so long 

Suddenly the youth flung the knife away from hin 
with violence, and endeavoured with all his might to lift 
tlie body of the boy. In the days of his strength he 
could have raised it with one hand. Now he strove and 
energised for many minutes before he succeeded in raising 
it to the gunwale. At last, with a mighty effort, he 
thrua^' ''■y overboard, and it fell into the sea with a heavy 
plunge. 

The noise aroused the two men in the bow, who raised 
themselves feebly. It was to them an all too familiar 
sound. Day by day they had heard it, as one and another 
of their comrades had been committed to the deep. One 
of the men managed to stand up, but as he swayed about 
and gazed at Dominick inquiringly, he lost his balance, 
and, being too weak to recover himself, fell over the side. 
He reappeared for a moment with outstretched arms and 



6 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

hands clutching towards the boat. Then he sank, to he 
seen no more. The other man, who had been his inti- 
mate friend and messmate, made a frantic effort to save 
him. His failure to do so seemed to be more than the 
poor fellow could bear, for he sprang up with the wild 
laugh and the sudden strength of a maniac, and leaped 
into the sea. 

Dominick could do nothing to prevent this. While 
staring at the little patch of foam where the two men 
had gone down, he was startled by the sound of his 
sister's voice. 

"Are they all gone, brother?" she asked, in a low, 
horrified tone. 

" All— all, sister. Only you, and Otto, and I left. 
How soundly the poor boy sleeps !" 

" I wish it might please God to let him die thus," said 
Pauline, with a weary sigh that told eloquently of hope 
deferred. 

" Your wish may be granted," returned Dominick, " for 
the dear boy seems to be sinking. It can scarcely, I 
think, be natural sleep that prevented the shout of that 
poor fellow from arousing him. But lie down again, 
Pauline ; sleep may do you a little good if you can 
obtain it, and I will watch." 

" And pray," suggested the poor girl, as she lay down 
again, languidly. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN nEMISPHERE. 7 

" Yes, I will pray. Surely a sail irmst appear soon !" 
Dominick Eigonda was strong in youthful hope even 
in that hour of sorest trial, but he was not strong in 
faith. He prayed, however, and found his faith 
strengthened in the act, for he looked up immediately 
after with a feeling amounting almost to certainty that 
the long expected and wished for sail would greet his 
eyes. But no sail was visible in all the unbroken circle 
of his horizon. Still the faith which had prompted the 
eager gaze did not quite evaporate. After the first shock 
of disappointment at his prayer not being answered 
according to its tenor, his assurance that God would yet 
send relief returned in some degree, and he was not alto- 
gether disappointed, though the answer came at last in a 
way that he did not expect. 

After sitting in a half- sleeping condition for some 
time, he aroused himself, and crept with considerable 
difficulty to the bow to procure the blanket which had 
covered the two men who had just perished. A corner 
of the blanket had caught on the end of one of the floor- 
jlanks. In disengaging it Dominick chanced to raise 
the plank which was loose, and observed something like 
a bundle lying underneath. Curiosity prompted him to 
examine it. He found that it was wrapped in canvas, 
and carefully tied with cord. Opening it, he discovered 
to his surprise and intense joy that it contained some 



8 THE IS T : 

ship's biscuit, a piece ( )ork, and a flask of 

water. 

Only those who hav denly presented with 

food and drink while sta ippreciate the feelings 

that filled the heart of t ith with laughter and 

thanksgiving ; but his joy was i^v,. selfish, for the prospect 
of immediate personal relief had but a secondary place in 
his thoughts. 

Hastening with the inestimable treasure to the place 
where his brother and sister lay, he carefully spread it 
out on a piece of sailcloth, and cut a few thin slices of 
the pork before arousing them. 

" Awake, sister, and eat ! " he said at last, gentlj/ 
shaking Pauline by the shoulder. 

" Dominick ! " she exclaimed, raisins herself, and 
gazing eagerly at the food. " I was dreaming of this when 
you awoke me ! " 

" That 's odd, now," said little Otto, who had also been 
aroused, " for I was dreaming of eating ! And I am so 
hung " 

He got no further, for, having clutched a handful of 
biscuit, he suddenly stopped the way of utterance. 

" How good of you, Dom ! " said Pauline, eating with as 
much relish, though not with such voracity, as her little 
brother. *' Where did you get this ? " 

" No matter ; eat and be thankful," said Dominick 



A TALE OF THE- SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 9 

curtly, for he was himself eating with wolfish haste by 
that time. He restrained himself, however, after a few 
minutes. 

" Hold ! We must not indulge too freely. It will 
hurt us after fasting so long. Besides, this supply is 
very small, and must be made to last as long as possible. 
No, my boy, you must eat no more at this time, but you 
may drink a little." 

About a table-spoonful of water was measured out to 
each, and then the remainder of the food was carefully 
wrapped up and put away. 

"Do you think that this supply was hidden by one 
of the poor fellows who left us this morning ? " asked 
Pauline. 

" I think so ; and no doubt his motive was a good one. 
You know he was very fond of his messmate. I should 
think he saved up his allowance to help him ; but, what- 
ever the motive, it has proved a blessing to us " 

He ceased speaking, for both sister and little brother 
had drooped their weary heads, and were again in a heavy 
slumber. Dominick himself felt intensely the desire to 
follow their example, but he resisted it, feeling that it was 
his duty to watch for the long-expected sail that never 
appeared. At first his efforts were successful, but by 
degrees the tendency to sleep became so overpowering 
that his struggles were unavailing. Sense of duty and 

B 



lO THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

every other motive gave way before it ; his head finally 
dropped forward, and, with a heavy sigh of contentment, 
he followed his brother and sister to the land of Nod. 

Profound, prolonged, and refreshing was that sweet 
slumber, after the first good meal these poor castaways 
had eaten for many days. The weather fortunately con- 
tinued bright and warm, so that they did not suffer so much 
from exposure as on previous days, and the gentle rock- 
ing of the boat tended to deepen and prolong their repose. 

Thusthey floated peacefully during the greater part of 
that day — the one solitary speck on the surface of the 
great ocean, for the albatross seemed to have finally 
forsaken them. 

Towards noon a light westerly breeze sprang up. It 
was not sufficient to raise a sea or disturb the sleepers, 
but, in conjunction with ocean currents, it drifted them 
to the south-east at a considerable rate, so that in the 
evening, without the aid of oar or sail, they were far from 
the spot upon the sea where we introduced them to the 
reader. 

At last Dominick awoke with a long-drawn sigh, and, 
raising his head, looked over the side of the boat. An 
exclamation of surprise and joy broke from him, for there, 
like a speck, where something like a heavy bank of clouds 
rested on the horizon, was the long-expected sail ! 

His first impulse was to awaken the sleepers,, but he 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHEEK 11 

checked himself. He would look more carefully. His 
eyes miglit be deceiving him, and the disappointment if 
he should be mistaken would be overwhelming. He 
would spare them that. Rising to his feet, he shaded his 
eyes with one hand, and gazed long and earnestly. 

The longer he looked, however, and the more he rubbed 
his eyes, the more convinced was he that a vessel was 
really in sight. 

" Pauline," he said at length, with suppressed emotion, 
as he gently shook her arm, " see, God has answered our 
prayers : a vessel is in sight !'* 

The poor girl raised herself quickly, with an exclamation 
of thankfulness, and gazed intently in the direction pointed 
out. 

** It is, surely it is a ship," she said, *' but — but — 
don't you think there is something curious about its 
appearance V* 

" I have indeed been puzzled during the last few 
minutes," replied Dominick. " It seems as if there were 
something strange under her, and her position, too, is 
rather odd. — Ho ! Otto, rouse up, my boy, and look at the 
vessel coming to save us. Your eyes are sharp ! Say, 
d'you see anything strange about her ?" 

Thus appealed to. Otto, who felt greatly refreshed by 
his good meal and long sleep, sat up and also gazed at the 
vessel in question. 



12 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" No, Dom," he said at length ; " I don't see much the 
matter with her, except that she leans over on one side a 
good deal, and there 's something black under and around 
her." 

" Can it be a squall that has struck her ?" said Pauline. 
" Squalls, you know, make ships lie over very much at 
times, and cause the sea round them to look very dark." 

" It may be so," returned Dominick doubtfully. " But 
we shall soon see, for a squall won't take very long to 
bring her down to us." ; 

They watched the approaching vessel with intense 
eagerness, but did not again speak for a considerable 
time. Anxiety and doubt kept them silent. There was 
the danger that the vessel might fail to observe them, and 
as their oars had been washed away they had no means 
of hoisting a flag of distress. Then there was the unac- 
countable something about the vessel's appearance which 
puzzled and filled them with uncertainty. At last they 
drew so near that Dominick became all too well aware 
of what it was, and a sinking of the heart kept him still 
silent for a time. 

" Brother," said Pauline at last in a sad voice, as she 
turned her dark eyes on Dominick, " I fear it is only a 
wreck." 

" You are right," he replied gloomily ; " a wreck on a 
barren sliore, too. Not a scrap of vegetation on it, as far 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN TIEMISPIlEPvE. 1 3 

as I can see — a mere sandbank. Currents are carrying 
us towards it, and have led us to fancy that the vessel was 
moving." 

He spoke with bitterness, for the disappointment was 
very great, and physical weakness had rendered him less 
able to bear it than he might otherwise have been. 

" Don't get grumpy, Dom," said Otto, with a slightly 
humorous look that was peculiar to him — a look which 
had not lighted up his eyes for many days past. 

*' Well, I loont get grumpy," returned Dominick with 
sudden energy, patting the boy's head. " It is quite clear 
that a good feed and a long rest were all you required to 
set up your plucky little spirit again." 

" Dom," said Pauline, who had been looking intently at 
the wreck, " is there not something like a line of white 
close to the wreck ?" 

" Ay, there is," replied Dominick, his countenance again 
becoming grave ; " it is a line of breakers, through which 
it will be very difficult to steer our little boat." 

*' Steer, Dom," exclaimed Otto, with a look of surprise ; 
*'how can you talk of steering at all without oar or 
helm?'* 

" I must make one of the floor planks do for both," 
returned Dominick. 

" 1 say," continued the boy, " I 'm horribly hungry. 
Mayn't I have just a bite or two more ?" 



14 THE ISLAND QUEEN : ' 

"Stay, I'm tliinking," replied the other. 

" Think fast then, please, for the wolf inside of me is 
howling/' 

The result of Dominick's thinking was that he resolved 
to consume as much of their stock of provisions as possible 
in one meal, in order to secure all the strength that was 
available by such means, and thus fit them for the coming 
struggle with the surf. " For," said he, " if we get 
capsized far from the shore, we have no chance of reach- 
ing it by swimming in our present weak condition. Our 
only plan is to get up all the strength we can by means 
of food. So here goes ! " 

He untied the bundle as he spoke, and spread the con- 
tents on his knees. Otto — who was, indeed, a plucky 
little fellow, and either did not realise or did not fear the 
danger that lay before him — commenced to eat with 
almost jovial avidity. Indeed, all three showed that they 
had benefited greatly by what they had already eaten, 
and now, for the first time during many days, consumed 
what they considered a full and satisfactory meal, while 
they drifted slowly but steadily towards the laud. 

As they neared it, the heavy mass on the horizon, 
which they had taken for a bank of clouds, became more 
distinct. A light haze cleared away and showed it to be an 
island, to which the sandbank formed a barrier reef ; but 
any interest that might have been aroused by this dis- 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIlEPtN HEMISPHERE. 15 

covery was absorbed by present anxiety, for the white and 
gleaming surf warned them that a serious and critical 
moment in their lives was fast approachiDg. Pauline was 
awed into silence, and even Otto's countenance became 
gradually solemnised. 



16 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 



CHAPTER TL 



WEECKED ON A REEF. 



nnHE coral reefs, which, in various shapes and sizes 
-*- stud the Southern seas, are sometimes rendered 
almost unapproachable by the immense waves which fall 
upon them. Even in the calmest weather these huge 
breakers may be seen falling with prolonged roar on the 
beach. The lightest undulation on the sea, which might 
almost escape observation away from land, takes the form 
of a grand, quiet billow as it draws near to an islet or 
reef, and finally, coming majestically on, like a wall of 
rolling crystal, breaks the silence suddenly by its 
thunderous fall, and gives to the sands a temporary 
fringe of pure white foam. 

To ride in on the crest of one such roller on a piece of 
board and leap upon the shore, is a feat peculiar to South 
Sea islanders, who are trained to the water from earliest 
infancy. To do the same thing in a small boat, without 
oars, without strength, without experience, almost with- 
out courage, is a feat that no South Sea islander would 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISrHEKE. 17 

attempt, and the necessity for performing which might 
cause the hair of any islander's head to stand on end. 

That Dominick Eigonda's hair did not stand on end, as 
he sat there with pale cheeks and compressed lips, was 
prohably due to the fact that he had thrust his straw hat 
tightly down on his brows. 

As the boat drew nearer to the reef, both Pauline and 
Otto had risen, in the strength of their hearty meal, and 
were now seated on the thwarts of the boat. Their 
brother had selected the thickest floor-plank, and cut it 
roughly into the form of an oar with a clasp-knife. He 
now sat with it over the stern, sculling gently — very 
gently, however, for he reserved the little strength tliat 
remained to him for the critical moment. 

The undulations of the sea, which had rocked them 
hitherto so softly, had by that time assumed a decidea 
form and force, so that the boat rose on the oily back of 
each billow that passed under it, and slid back into a 
watery hollow, to be relifted by each successive wave. 

" You look very anxious," said Pauline, clasping her 
h.'\nds on her knee, and gazing earnestly in her brother's face. 

•* I cannot help it," returned Dominick, curtly. 

" Is our danger then so great ? " 

Dominick only half admitted that it was. He did not 
wish to alarm her, and tried to smile as he said that the 
struggle w^ould be brief — it would soon be over. 



18 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" But tell me, where lies the danger ? " persisted Pauline. 
" I do not quite see it." 

"* Where ignorance is bliss/ dear, ''tis folly to be 
wise/ " returned Dominick, with an unsuccessful effort to 
look more at ease. 

" Nay, brother, but I am not ignorant that danger 
exists — only ignorant as to the amount and nature of it. 
Surely there cannot be much risk in pushing our boat 
through that white foam that lines the shore with so soft 
a fringe/' 

"I should think not/' broke in the pert and inexperienced 
Otto ; " why, Pina " (thus he abridged his sister's name), 
" there 's as much danger, I should think, in pushing 
through a tub of soapsuds." 

'* Come, Dom/' returned the girl, " explain it to me ; 
foi. ^- you don't point out where the danger really lies, if 
you leave me in this state of partial ignorance, I shall be 
filled with alarm instead of bliss from this moment till we 
reach the shore." 

" Well, well, sister/' said Dominick, when thus urged ; 
" if you must have it, I will explain." 

He went on to show that when the boat came near the 
shore the waves would grasp it, instead of letting it slip 
back ; would carry it swiftly in on their crests, so that 
the great difficulty in such a case would be to keep the 
boat's head pointing to the land, and if he failed to 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEEN- HEMISPnERE. 1 9 

do SO, lliey would infallibly be overturned and have to 
swim ashore. 

"Well, that would be unpleasant, Dom," said the 
ignorant as well as innocent Pauline, " but it would not 
matter much, for we can all swim — thanks to you for 
insisting on teaching us long ago." 

" We will try our best," said Dominick, who thereupon 
relapsed into silence, wisely resolving to let his sister 
retain all the " bliss " of " ignorance " that was possible 
under the circumstances. 

Indeed, there was not much more time for conversation, 
for the power of the waves was beginning to be felt by the 
little craft, and the clumsy oar did not act with as much 
precision or force as was desirable, while Dominick's 
weakness rendered the steering difficult. Pauline now 
began to realise the danger somewhat more clearly from 
experience, and even Otto showed symptoms of surprise 
that amounted very nearly to alarm, as the boat at one 
point made a sudden rush on a wave- top as if it meant to 
try a race with it, and then' as suddenly slipped back into 
the hollow behind, as if it had been dislieartened, feelino^ 
that there was no chance. 

At last they reached the point of greatest danger. The 
huge waves, as we have said, commenced out at sea in 
long, gentle undulations. Nearer the shore they advanced 
in the shape of glassy walls, one after another, like 



20 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

successive lines of indomitable infantry in time of war. 
Further in, the tops of these waves began to gurgle and 
foam, and gather real instead of seeming motion, as they 
rushed towards their fall. It was here that the boat 
showed symptoms of becoming unmanageable. 

" Why, the water 's beginning to boil ! " exclaimed Otto, 
in some anxiety. 

" Hold on, boy, and keep quiet," said his brother. 

As he spoke, the water gurgled up, so that it seemed 
as if about to pour inboard all round. At the same time 
the boat made a rush shoreward as if suddenly endowed 
with life. Dominick struggled manfully to keep the 
stern to the sea. He succeeded, but in another moment 
the boat slipped back. It had not been fairly caught, and 
the wave passed on to fall with a roar like thunder a 
hundred yards or so ahead. 

" The next will do it," said Dominick, with an anxious 
glance behind, where a crystal wall was coming grandly 
on — unnaturally high, it seemed to them, owing to their 
position in the hollow. 

No need to tell Otto now to hold on ! No need to 
explain difficulty or danger to Pauline ! As her brother 
stood at the oar, quivering as much from weakness as 
exertion, she understood it all. But she was brave, and 
she could swim. This latter fact lent her additional con- 
fidence. Best of allj she had faith in God, and her spirit 



A TALE OF THE SOtTTIIERN nEMISPIIERE. 21 

was calmed, for, whether life or death lay before her, she 
knew that her soul was " safe." 

As Dominick had prophesied, the next wave took them 
fairly in its grasp. For a few moments the water hissed 
and orurojled round them. The steersman seemed to lose 
control for a second or two, but quickly recovered. Then 
there was a bound, as if the boat had been shot from 
a catapult, and the billow fell. A tremendous roar, 
tumultuous foam all round, increasing speed ! The land 
appeared to be rushing at them, when Dominick's oar 
snapped suddenly, and he went overboard. A shriek 
from Pauline and a shout from Otto rose high above the 
din of raqin<T water, as the boat broached-to and hurled 
its remaining occupants into the sea. 

Even in that trying moment Dominick did not lose 
presence of mind. He could swim and dive like a water- 
rat. Pushing towards his brother and sister, who were 
i heading bravely for the shore, he shouted, " Dig your 
fingers and toes deep into the sand, and hold on fur 
life, if — " (he corrected himself) "when you gain the 
beach." 

It was well they were forewarned, and that they were 
constitutionally obedient. A few minutes later, and 
they were all swept up high on the beach in a wilderness 
of foam. The return of that wilderness was like the 
rushing of a millrace. Sand, stones, sticks, and seaweed 



22 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

went back with it in dire confusion. Prone on their 
knees, with fingers and toes fixed, and heads down, the 
brothers and sister met the rush. It was almost too 
mucli for them. A moment more, and strength as well 
as breath would have failed ; but the danger passed, and 
Dominick sprang to his feet. 

" Up, up ! and run ! " he shouted, as he caught Pauline 
round the waist and dragged her on. Otto needed no 
help. They were barely in time. The succeeding wave 
roared after them as if maddened at having lost its prey, 
and the foaming water was up with them and almost 
round their knees ere its fury was quite spent. 

" Safe ! " exclaimed Dominick. 

" Thank God ! " murmured Pauline, as she sank ex- 
hausted on the sand. 

Otto, who had never seen his sister in such a state 
before, ran to her, and, kneeling down, anxiously seized 
one of her hands. 

"Never fear, lad," said his brother in reassuring 
tones, " she '11 soon come round. Lend a hand to lift 
her." 

They bore the fainting girl up the beach, and laid her 
on a grassy spot under a bush. And now Dominick was 
glad to find that he had been mistaken in supposing that 
the coral reef was a mere sandbank, destitute of vegetation. 
Indeed, before landing, he had observed that there were a 



\ A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISrHERE. 23 

few trees on the highest part of it. He now perceived 
that there was quite a little grove of cocoa-nut palms, 
with a thicket of underwood around them, Avliich, if not 
extensive, was at all events comparatively dense. He 
pointed out the fact to Otto, who was chafing his sister's 
hands. 

" Ay," responded Otto, " and the island on the other 
side must be a goodish big one, for I got a glimpse of it 
through the trees as we came rushing in on that monstrous 
wave." 

In a short time Pauline recovered, and Dominick 
returned to the water's edge with Otto. 

" Our first care must be," he said, " to save our little 
boat if we can, for it is the only means we have of escaping 
from this island." 

" Escaping ! " repeated Otto, in surprise. " I don't 
want to escape from it, Dom." 

"Indeed! why not?" 

" Why, because I 've dreamed about being cast on a 
desolate island hundreds of times, and I've read about 
Eobinson Crusoe, and all the other Crusoes, and I've 
longed to be cast on one, and now I am cast on one, so I 
don't want to escape. It'll be the greatest fun in the 
world. I only hope I won't wake up, as usual, to find 
that it 's all a dream ! " 

Dominick laughed (not scornfully, by any means) at 



24 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

the boy's enthusiasm ; nevertheless he had strong sym- 
pathy with him, for the period had not passed so long ago 
when he himself entertained a very vivid impression of 
the romance of such a situation, and he did not trouble 
his mind about the stern realities. 

" I sincerely hope it may come up to your expectations, 
Otto, my boy; nevertheless we must secure the boat for 
fishing purposes, even though we don't try to escape in 
it." 

" For fishing ! why, we have neither hooks nor lines." 

" True, lad ; but we have got fingers and brains. It 
strikes me that we shall have occasion to use all our 
powers and possessions if we are not to starve here, foi 
the reef seems to have very little vegetation on it, and 
there is sure to be a lagoon of water on the other side, 
separating it from the island beyond." 

" I wonder if there is fresh water on the reef," said 
Otto, with a very sudden look of solemnity and pursing 
of the mouth. 

" You may well ask that. I hope there is. We will 
go and settle the point the moment we have secured the 
boat, if " 

He stopped, for he saw at that moment that the sea 
had taken good care to secure the boat to itself as a play- 
thing. Having dashed it into small pieces, it was by that 
time busily engaged in tossing these about among the 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISniEr.E. 

foam^ now hurling the splinters high upon the r' 
sending up long watery tongues to lick the 
then castino: them under the incoming rolle dv 

reduced into what is usually styled matr 

There was a small bay close at han sandy 

beach was strewn with rocks, in w? appeared 

to play this game with unusual v' .s a sort of 

hospital for marine incurables, the sea cast 

its broken toys when tired of smashix.^ jm up, and left 
them there to rot. 

Regarding this spot with a thoughtful look, Dominick 
remarked that the wreck which lay on the rocks off the 
tail of the island was by no means the first that had taken 
place there. 

"And won't be the last, I fancy," said Otto. 

" Probably not. Indeed, from the appearance of this 
bay, and the fact that an ocean current drifted us towards 
the spot, I should think that the island is a particularly 
dangerous one for vessels. Eut come, we '11 go see how 
Tina gets on, and then proceed to examine our new home." 

Eeturning to the place where Pauline had been left, 
they found the poor girl wringing the water out of her dress. 
Tlie news of the fate of the little boat did not seem to 
affect her much, she did not fully appreciate the loss, and 
was more taken up with the idea of thankfulness for 
deliverance from death. 



26 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" May I not go with you ? " she asked, on hearing that 
her b.others were going to search for water. 

"Certainly. I thought you might perhaps prefer to 
rest and dry your clothes in the sun," replied Dominick. 

" Walking will dry them better," said Pina. " Besides, 
I have quite recovered." - 

" You 're a plucky little woman," said Otto, as they 
set off. " Isn't it nice to be here all by ourselves, on a 
real uninhabited island, quite fit for Eobinson himself ? 
Who knows but we may find Friday in the bushes ! " 

*■* Wouldn't that spoil it as an i^?iinhabited isle ? ** 

" A little, but not much." 

"The thicket is too small to contain anything with life, 
I fear," said Dominick, whose anxiety as to food and 
drink prevented his sympathising much with the small- 
talk of the other two, " Luckily the weather is warm," 
he added, " and we won't require better shelter at present 
than the bushes afford, unless a storm comes. — Ho ! 
what have we here * — a path ! " % 

They had reached the entrance to the thicket, and 
discovered what appeared to be an opening into it, made 
apparently by the hand of man. 

"Nothing more likely," said Pauline. "If so many 
wrecks have taken place here — as you seem to think — 
some of the crews must have landed, and perhaps lived 
here." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 27 

" Ay, and died here," returned Dominick, in a grave, 
low tone, as lie pointed to a skeleton lying on a spot which 
had once been cleared of bushes, but so long ogo that the 
vegetation had partially grown up again. The man 
whose bleached bones lay before them had evidently 
perished many years before. On examination, nothing 
was found to afford any information about him, but when 
they had advanced a dozen yards further they came upon 
six little mounds, which showed that a party — probably a 
wrecked crew — had sojourned there for a time, and finally 
perished : so far their story was clear enough. One by 
one they must have sunk, until the last man had lain 
down to die and remain unburied. 

Pushing past these sad evidences of former suffering, 
and feeling that the same fate might await themselves, 
they came to a sight which tended slightly to restore 
their spirits. It was a pool of water of considerable size, 
whether a spring or a rain -pool they could not tell. 
Neither did they care at that time, for the sudden feeling 
of relieved anxiety w^as so great, that they ran forward, as 
if under one impulse, and, lying down on their breasts, took 
a long refreshing draught. So powerful was the influence 
of this refreshment and discovery on their spirits that they 
became totally regardless and forgetful for the moment 
about food — all the more that, having so recently had a 
good meal, they were not hungry. 



28 * THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" I was sure we would find water,** said Otto, as they 
continued to explore the thicket, " and I Ve no doubt that 
we shall find yams and plantains and breadfruits, and — 
aren't these the sort of things tliat grow wild on coral 
islands, Dom ? '* 

" Yes, but I fear not on such a little scrap of reef as 
this. However, we shall not be quite destitute, for there 
are cocoa-nuts, you see — though not many of them. 
Come, our prospects are brightening, and as the sun is 
beginning to sink, we will looli out for a suitable camp- 
in^-orround." 

"As far away from the skeleton, please, as possible,** 
said Otto. 

"Surely you don't suppose it can hurt you?" said 
Pauline. 

" !N" — no, of course not, but it would be unpleasant to 
have it for a bedfellow, you know ; so, the further away 
from it the better." -^ 

As he spoke they emerged from the thicket at the end 
opposite to the spot where they had entered, and had 
their spirits again powerfully cheered by coming suddenly 
into a blaze of sunshine, for the bright orb of day was 
descending at that side of the islet, and his red, resplen- 
dent rays were glowing on the reef and on the palm-trees. 

They also came in full view of the islet beyond; 
which, they now perceived, was of considerable size, and 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 20 

covered with vegetation, but, as Doniinick had suspected, 
separated completely from the reef or outer isle on which 
they stood by a deep lagoon. 

" Splendid ! " exclaimed Pauline. 

" As I feared," muttered Dominick, " and no means of 
reaching it." 

" Pooh ! Didn't Eobinson Crusoe make rafts ? " said 
Otto ; " at least, if he didn't, somebody else did, and any- 
how we can." 

" Come, let us continue our walk," said Dominick. 
" You don't fully appreciate the loss of our boat. Otto. 
Don't you see that even if we do build a raft, it will at 
best be a clumsy thing to manage, and heavy to pull, 
slow to sail, and bad to steer, and if we should chance to 
be on it when a stiff breeze springs up from the land, 
we should probably be driven out to sea and lost, — or 
separated, if Pina should chance to have been left on 
shore at the time." 

" What a fellow you are, Dom, for supposing chances 
and difficulties, and fancying they cannot be overcome," 
returned Otto, with the pert self-sufficiency that char- 
acterised him. "Por my part, I rather enjoy difficulties, 
because of the fun of overcoming them. Don't you see, 
we three can make quite sure of never being separated 
by never going out on our raft except together, so that wo 
shall always enjoy ourselves unitedly, or perish in coip- 

i 



30 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

pany. Then we can easily get over the difficulty of 
being blown out to sea by never going on the sea at all, 
but confining ourselves entirely to the lagoon, which is 
large enough for any reasonable man, and may be larger 
than we think, for we can't see the whole of it from where 
we stand. Then, as to sailing and rowing slowly, we can 
overcome these difficulties by not being in a hurry, — 
taking things easy, you know." 

To this Dominick replied that there was one difficulty 
which his little brother, with all his wisdom and capacity, 
would never overcome. 

" And what may that be ?" demanded Otto. 

" The difficulty of being unable to talk common-sense.** 

" True, Dom, true, that is a great difficulty," retorted 
the boy, with deep humility of aspect, " for a man's con- 
versation is greatly affected by the company he keeps, 
and with you as my only male companion, I have not 
much to hope for in the way of example. But even that 
may be got the better of by holding intercourse chiefly 
with Pina." 

" But what if I refuse to talk ? " said Pauline, with a 
laugh. 

" Then will you be all the more able to listen, sister 
mine, which is the most common-sense thing that you can 
do, except when brother Dom speaks," said the incorrigible 
boy. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISPIIERE. 31 

They had seated themselves on a bank while thus con- 
versing, and from their position could see over a consider- 
able portion of the lagoon. Suddenly Dominick pointed 
to an object a long way off, which was half concealed by 
the shadow of an island. 

" Does it not look like a canoe ? " he asked eagerly. 

" Can't make it out at all," said Otto, shading his eyes 
with his hand. 

" The sun on the water dazzles one so," observed 
Pauline, " that it is difficult to look steadily." 

In a few moments the object which had drawn their 
attention sailed out from under the shade of the island, 
and, breaking up into fragments, rose into the air, proving 
itself to be a flock of large aquatic birds which had been 
swimmini:^ in a line. 

"'Things are not what they seem,'" observed Pauline, 
rising and following her brothers through a little thicket. 

"What a pity!" exclaimed Otto; "I was in hopes it 
was a canoeful of savages. It would be such fun to have 
a real Friday to be our servant." 

" More likely that our Friday would kill, cook, and eat 
us if he could," said Dominick, to the surprise of Otto, 
who gave it as his opinion that savages never ate men, 
and asked if his brother really believed that they did. 

" Indeed I do. We have it recorded by all the best 
authorities that South Sea islanders are given to this 



32 . THE ISLAND QUEEX : 

horrible practice. There can be no doubt about it what- 
ever, and the less we see of these fellows in our present 
defenceless state the better." 

"How little/' said Pauline, "our dear father thought, 
when he wrote for us to go out to him in his ship, that 
we should be cast on an unknown island, and the ship 
itself go to the bottom ! " 

"Little indeed, and as little did poor mother dream 
of such a fate," returned Dominick, " when she let us all 
go so readily, on the understanding that we should give 
father no rest until we had got him to give up business, 
quit Java for ever, and return home." 

"Dear old mother!" said Pauline, "I wish — oh! I 
wish so much that we had not left her, even though it 
was to be for only a few months. She must be so lonely, 
with no one to talk to " 

" You forget, Pina." 

"Forget— what?" 
^"The cat," returned Otto, unable to repress a smile, 
which rose in spite of the ready tear tliat dimmed his 
eye at the mere mention of his mother. " You know the 
cat is her great resource — a sort of safety-valve. Some- 
times, when I 've been listening to her, lying on the rug 
at her feet half asleep, I 've heard her talk to that cat as 
if it really was a human being, and tell it all about her 
little affairs and daily troubles and worries in quite a 



A TALE OP THE SOUTnEKN nEMISPHERE. 33 

confidential tone. "I've taken it into my head that 
that 's mother's way of thinking aloud — she thinks at the 
cat, for company : and to do the brute justice, it does its 
best to accommodate her. I Ve seen it sit and stare at 
her by the half-hour at a time, and give a little purr or a 
m-e-a-i-o-w now and then as if it wanted to speak. I 'm 
quite sure it thinks, and wonders no doubt what idle, useless 
work it is to click knitting-needles together by the hour." 

" Dear me, Otto," said Pauline, with a laugh, " I had 
no idea that you could think so much about anything." 

" Think I" exclaimed the boy, indignantly ; " d' you 
suppose that it's only stern-browed, long-legged fellows 
like Dom there who can think ? Why, I think, and 
think, sometimes, to such an extent that I nearly think 
myself inside out ! But, Pina, you don't know half as 
much about motherkin as I do, for when you are with 
her she usually forge-.T^ herself ^ I can see, and talks only 
about the things that interest you; whereas, when there's 
nobody present but me, she counts me for nothing, and 
lets me do pretty much what I like — because no doubt 
she thinks I '11 do that whether she lets me or not — but 
she 's wrong, for I love her far more than she thinks ; and 
then it 's when I 'm quiet and she forgets me, I fancy, or 
thinks I 'm asleep, that she comes out strong at the cat." 

" Darling mother !" said Pauline, musingly. " I can 
see her now, in my mind, with her neat black cap and 



34 TnE ISLAKD QUEEN : 

smooth braided hair, and gold spectacles, as plain as if 
she were sitting before me." 

" I 'm sorry to destroy the vision, Pina, on my own 
account as well as yours," observed Dominick, " but it 
behoves us now to look for a night's lodging, for the sun 
is sinking fast, and it would not be pleasant to lie down 
on the bare ground shelterless, fine though the climate is. 
Come, we will return to the place where we landed and 
search for a cave or a bit of overhanc[in" rock." 

The best sleeping-place that they had up to that time 
discovered w^as undoubtedly the grove in which they had 
found the graves of the shipwrecked crew, but, as Otto 
truly remarked, it would probably result in uncomfortable 
dreams if they were to go to sleep in a buryiiig-ground 
alongside of a skeleton. 

Accordingly they returned to the beach, and sought for 
some time among the dihris of the boat for anything 
useful that might have been washed up, but found 
nothing. Then they went alongshore in the direction of 
the wreck which had raised their hopes so high that day 
when first seen, but nothing suitable was discovered until 
they rounded a low point of rocks, when Pauline came to 
a sudden pause. 

"Look! a golden cave!" she exclaimed, pointing 
eagerly to a grassy spot which was canopied by feathery 
palmS; and half enclosed by coral rocks, where was a 



k Tale op the sotrmERN HEMisriiErtE. 35 

cavern into which the sinking sun streamed at the 
moment with wonderful intensity. 

Their home for that night obviously lay before them, 
but when they entered it and sat down, their destitution 
became sadly apparent. ISTo beds to spread, no food to 
prepare, nothing w^iatever to do but lie down and sleep ! 

"No matter, we're neither hungry nor thirsty," said 
Dominiclv, with an air of somewhat forced gaiety, " and 
our clothes are getting dry. Come, sister, you must be 
w^eary. Lie down at the inner side of the cave, and Otto 
and I, like faithful knights, will guard the entrance. I 
— I wish," he added, in a graver tone, and with some 
hesitation, " that w^e had a Bible, that we might read a 
verse or two before lying down." 

" I can help you in that," said his sister, eagerly. " I 
have a fair memory, you know, and can repeat a good 
many verses." 

Pauline repeated the twenty-third Psalm in a low, sweet 
voice. When she had finished, a sudden impulse induced 
Dominick, who had never prayed aloud before, to utter a 
brief but fervent prayer and thanksgiving. Then the 
three lay down in the cave, and in five minutes were 
sound asleep. 

Thus appropriately did these castaways begin their 
sojourn on a spot w^hich was destined to be their home 
for a long time to come. 



36 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 



ClIxYPTEK III. 



EXPLORATIONS AND DISCOVERIES. 



A S the sun had bathed the golden cave when our 
castaways went to sleep, so it flooded their simple 
dwelling when they awoke. 

" Then/' exclaims the intelligent reader, " the sun must 
have risen in the west !" 

By no means, good reader. Whatever man in his 
wisdom, or weakness, may do or say, the great luminaries 
of day and night hold on the even tenor of their way un- 
changed. But youth is a wonderful compound of strength, 
hope, vitality, carelessness, and free-and-easy oblivion, 
and, in the unconscious exercise of the last capacity, 
Pauline and her brothers had slept as they lay down, 
without the slightest motion, all through that night, all 
through the gorgeous sunrise of the following morning, 
all through the fervid noontide and the declining day, 
until the setting sun again turned their resting-place into 
a cave of gold. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISniEEK 37 

The effect upon tlieir eyelids was such that they 
winked, and awoke with a miglity yawn. We speak 
advisedly. There were not three separate awakenings 
and three distinct yawns ; no, the rousing of one caused 
the rousing of the others in succession so rapidly that the 
yawns, commencing with Pauline's treble, were prolonged, 
through Otto's tenor down to Dominick's bass, in one 
stupendous monotone or slide, which the last yawner 
terminated in a groan of contentment. Xature, during the 
past few days, had been doubly defrauded, and she, having 
now partially repaid herself, allowed her captives to go 
free with restored vigour. There was, however, enough 
of the debt still unpaid to induce a desire in the captives 
to return of their own accord to the prison-house of 
Oblivion, but the desire was frustrated by Otto, who, 
sitting up suddenly and blinking at the sun with owlish 
gravity, exclaimed — 

" Well, I never ! We Ve only slept five minutes ! 
The sun hasn't set yd !" 

Dominick, replying with a powerful stretch and an- 
other yawn, also raised himself on one elbow and gazed 
solemnly in front of him. A gleam of intelligence 
suddenly crossed his countenance. 

" Why, boy, wiien we went to sleep the sun was what 
you may call six feet above the horizon ; now it is twelve 
feet il it is an inch, so that if it be still setting, it must 



38 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

be setting upwards — a phenomenon of winch the records 
of astronomical research make no mention." 

" But it is setting," retorted Otto, with a puzzled look, 
" for I never heard of your astronomical searchers saying 
that they 'd ever seen the sun rise in the same place where 
it sets." 

" True, Otto, and the conclusion I am forced to is that 
we have slept right on from sunset to sunset." 

" So, then, we Ve lost a day," murmured Pauline, who 
in an attitude of helpless repose, had been winking witli 
a languid expression at the luminous subject of discussion, 

" Good morning, Pina," said Dominick. 

" Good evening, you mean," interrupted his brother. 

" Well, good evening. It matters little which ; how 
liave you slept ? " 

" Soundly — oh, so soundly that I don't want to move." 

" Well, then, don't move ; I '11 rise and get you some 
breakfast." 

" Supper," interposed Otto. 

" Supper be it ; it matters not. — But don't say we 've 
lost a day, sister mine. As regards time, indeed, we have ; 
but in strength I feel that I have gained a week or more." 

" Does any one know," said Otto, gazing with a per- 
plexed expression at the sky — for he had lain back again 
w^ith his hands under his head— "does any one know 
what diiy it was when we land^^d ? 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHEPtE. 39 

" Thursday, I think," said Dominick. 

" Oh no," exclaimed Pauline ; " surely it was Wednes- 
day or Tuesday ; but the anxiety and confusion during 
the wreck, and our terrible sufferings afterwards in the 
little boat, have quite confused my mind on that point." 

" Well, now, here 's a pretty state of things," continued 
Otto, sleepily ; "we've lost one day, an' we don't agree 
about three others, and Dom says he 's gained a week ! 
How are w^e ever to find out when Sunday comes, I should 
like to know ? There 's a puzzler — a reg — lar — puzzl* — 
puz " 

A soft snore told that " tired Nature's sweet restorer, 
balmy sleep," had again taken the little fellow captive, 
and prolonged silence on the part of the other two proved 
them to have gone into similar captivity. Nature had 
not recovered her debt in full. She was in an exactinof 
mood, and held them fast during the whole of another 
night. Then she set them finally free at sunrise on the 
following day, when the soft yellow light streamed on 
surrounding land and sea, converting their sleeping-place 
into a silver cave by contrast. 

There was no languid or yawny awakening on this occa- 
sion. Dominick sat up the instant his eyes opened, then 
sprang to his feet, and ran out of the cave. He was followed 
immediately by Otto and Pauline, the former declaring 
with emphasis that he felt himself to be a " new man." 



40 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" Yes, Eichard 's himself again," said Dominick, as ha 
stretched himself with the energy of one who rejoices in 
his strength. " Now, Pina, we 've got a busy day before 
us. We must find out what our islet contains in the 
way of food first, for I am ravenously hungry, and then 
examine its other resources. It is very beautiful One 
glance suffices to tell us that. And isn't it pleasant to 
think that it is all our own?" 

" ' The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,'" said 
his sister, softly. 

The youth's gaiety changed into a deeper and nobler feel- 
ing. He looked earnestly at Pauline for a few seconds. 

" Paght, Pina, right," he said. " To tell you the truth, 
I was half ashamed of my feelings that time when I broke 
into involuntary prayer and thanksgiving. I 'm ashamed 
now of having been ashamed. Come, sister, you shall 
read the Word of God from memory, and I will pray every 
morning and evening as long as we shall dwell here 
tocrether." 

That day they wandered about their islet with more 
of gaiety and light-heartedness than they would have 
experienced had they neglected, first, to give honour to 
God, who not only gives us all things richly to enjoy, but 
also the very capacity for enjoyment. 

But no joy of earth is unmingled. The exploration did 
not result in unmitigated satisfaction, as we shall see. 



A TALE OF TliE SOUTHERN IIEMISPIIERE. 4l 

Their first great object, of course, was breakfast. 

" I can't ask you what you '11 have, Pina. Our only 
dish, at least this morning," said Domiuick, glancing 
upwards, " is " 

" Cocoa-nuts," put in Otto. 

Otto w^as rather fond of " putting in " his word, or, as 
Dominick expressed it, " his oar." He was somewhat 
pert by nature, and not at that time greatly modified by 
art. 

"Just so, lad," returned his brother ; " and as you have 
a considerable spice of the monkey in you, be good enough 
to climb up one of these palms and send down a few nuts." 

To do Otto justice, he was quite as obliging as he was 
pert ; but when he stood at the foot of the tall palm-tree 
and looked up at its thick stem, he hesitated. 

" D' you know, Dom," he said, " it seems to me rather 
easier to talk about than to do ?" 

"You are not the first who has found that out," re- 
turned his brother, with a laugh. " ISTow, don't you know 
how the South Sea islanders get up the palm-trees ?" 

" No ; never heard how." 

" Why, I thought your great authority Eobinson 
Crusoe had told you that." 

"Don't think he ever referred to it. Friday may 
have known how, but if he did, he kept his knowledge 
to himself." 

D 



42 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" I wish vou two would discuss the literature of that 
subject some other time," said Pauline. " I 'm almost 
sinking for want of food. Do be quick, please." 

Thus urged, Dominick at once took off his neckcloth 
and showed his brother how, by tying his feet together 
with it at a sufficient distance apart, so as to permit of 
getting a foot on each side of the tree, the kerchief would 
catch on the rough bark, and so form a purchase by 
which he could force himself up step by step, as it were, 
while grasping the stem with arms and knees. 

Otto was an apt scholar in most things, especially in 
those that required activity of body. He soon climbed 
the tree, and plucked and threw down half a dozen cocoa- 
nuts. But when these had been procured, there still 
remained a difficulty, for the tough outer husk of the 
nuts, nearly two inches thick, could not easily be cut 
through with a clasp-knife so as to reach that kernel or 
nut which is ordinarily presented to English eyes in fruit- 
shops. 

" We have no axe, so must adopt the only remaining 
method," said Dominick. 

Laying a nut on a flat rock, he seized a stone about 
twice the size of his own head, and, heaving it aloft, 
brought it down with 'all his force on the nut, which was 
considerably crushed and broken by the blow. AVith 
perseverance and the vigorous use of a clasp-knife he at last 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 43 

readied the interior. Thereafter, on cocoa-nut meat and 
cocoa-nut milk, with a draught from a pool in the thicket, 
they partook of their first breakfast on the reef. 

"Now, our first duty is to bury the skeleton," said 
Dominick, when the meal was concluded ; " our next, to 
examine the land ; and our last, to visit the wreck. I 
think we shall be able to do all this in one day." 

Like many, perhaps we may say most, of man's 
estimates, Dominick's calculation was short of the mark, 
for the reef turned out to be considerably larger than they 
had at first supposed. It must be remembered that they 
had, up to that time, seen it only from the low level of 
the sea, and from that point of view it appeared to be a 
mere sandbank with a slight elevation in the centre, 
which was clothed with vegetation. But when the 
highest point of this elevation was gained, they discovered 
that it had hidden from their view not only a considerable 
stretch of low land which lay behind, but an extensive 
continuation of the lagoon, or salt-water lake, in which 
lay a multitude of smaller islets of varying shapes, some 
mere banks of sand, others with patches of vegetation in 
their centres, and a few with several cocoa-nut palms on 
them, the nucleus, probably, of future palm groves. A 
large island formed the background to this lovely picture, 
and the irregular coral reef guarded the whole from the 
violence of the ocean. In some places this reef rose to a 



44 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

considerable height above the sea-level. In others, it was 
so little above it that each falling breaker almost buried 
it in foam ; but everywhere it was a sufficient protection 
to the lagoon, which lay calm and placid within, encircled 
by its snowy fringe, — the result of the "svatery w^ar outside. 
In one spot there ^vas a deep entrance into this beautiful 
haven of peace, and that chanced to be close to the golden 
cave, and w^as about fifty yards wide. At the extremity 
of the reef, on the other side of this opening, lay another 
elevated spot, similar to their own, though smaller, and 
with only a few palms in the centre of it. From the sea 
this eminence had appeared to be a continuation of the 
other, and it was only when they landed that the Eigondas 
discovered the separation caused by the channel leading 
into the lagoon. 

" Fairyland ! " exclaimed Pauline, who could scarcely 
contain herself with delight at the marvellous scene 
of beauty that had so unexpectedly burst upon their 
view. 

"Eather a noisy and bustling fairyland too," said 
Otto, referring to the numerous sea-birds that inquisi- 
tively came to look at them, as well as to the other 
waterfowl that w^ent about from isle to isle on whistling 
wings. 

The boy spoke jestingly, but it was clear from his 
heaving chest, partially- open mouth, and glittering eyes, 



A TALE 'OF THE SOUTIIEEN IIEMISPHEEE. 45 

that Lis little heart was stirred to an unwonted depth of 
emotion. 

" Alas ! that we have lost our boat," exclaimed Domi- 
nick. 

To this Otto replied by expressing an earnest wish that 
he were able to swim as well as a South Sea islander, for 
in that case he would launch forth and spend the remainder 
of that day in visiting all the islands. 

"Yes; and wouldn't it be charming," responded his 
brother, "to pay your aquatic visits in such pleasant 
company as that ?" 

He pointed to an object, which was visible at no great 
distance, moving about on the surface of the glassy sea 
with great activity. 

" What creature is that ?" asked Pauline. 

" It is not a creature, Pina, only part of a creature." 

"You don't mean to say it's a shark!" cried Otto, 
with a frown. ' 

" Indeed it is— the back-fin of one at least — and he 
must have heard you, for he seems impatient to join you 
in your little trip to the islands." 

" I '11 put it off to some future day, Dom. But isn't it 
a pity that such pretty places should be spoiled by such 
greedy and cruel monsters?" 

"And yet they must have been made for some good 
purpose," suggested Pauline, 



46 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" I rather suspect," said Dominick, " that if game and 
fish only knew who shoot and catch them, and afterwards 
eat them, they might be inclined to call man greedy and 
cruel." 

" But we can't help that, Dom. We must live, you 
know." 

" So says or thinks the shark, no doubt, when he 
swallows a man." 

While the abstruse question, to which the shark had 
thus given rise, was being further discussed, the explorers 
returned to the thicket, where they buried the skeleton 
beside the other graves. A close search was then made 
for any object that might identify the unfortunates or 
afford some clue to their history, but nothing of the sort 
was found. 

" Strange," muttered Dominick, on leaving the spot 
after completing their task. " One would have expected 
that, with a wrecked ship to fall back upon, they would 
have left behind them evidences of some sort— imple- 
ments, or books, or empty beef- casks, — but there is liter- 
ally nothing." 

" Perhaps," suggested Pauline, " the men did not 
belong to this wreck. They may have landed as we have 
done out of a small boat, and the vessel we now see may 
have been driven here after they were dead." 

" True, Pina, it may have been so. However, the 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEIIN HEMISPHERE. 47 

matter must remain a mystery for the present. Mean- 
while we will go and explore the low land behind our 
reef." 

" Isn't it strange, Dom, that we should become landed 
proprietors in this fashion ? " remarked Otto, as they 
walked along. 

*' And that, too," added Pauline, " at a time when oui 
hopes were lowest and our case most desperate." 

" 'Tis a magnificent estate," said Dominick, " of which 
we will constitute Pina the Queen, myself the Prime 
^linister, and Otto the army." 

To this Otto objected that, as it was the business of an 
array to defend the people and keep them in order, there 
was no use for an army, seeing that there were no 
people ; but Dominick replied that a queen and prime 
minister formed part of a people, and that an army was 
required to defend them!* 

" To keep them in order, you should say," retorted 
Otto, " for that will clearly be my chief duty if I accept 
the situation. Well, I've no objection, on the whole, to be 
an army ; but, please, remember that in time of peace an 
army is expected to do no laborious work, and that at all 
times it is clothed and fed by the State. Now, Queen 
Pina the First, what would your Majesty wish the army 
to do?" 

" Go forth and subdue the land," replied Pina the 



48 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

First, promptly, with quite a regal sweep of her hand 
towards the low ground and the lagoon beyond. 

" Will your Majesty deign to instruct me how I am to 
begin?" 

The Queen hesitated. She was rather puzzled, as 
rulers sometimes are when required to tackle details. 

" May it please your Majesty," said Dominick, coming 
to the rescue like a true premier, " it is the chief duty of 
a prime minister to advise his sovereign. If it be your 
pleasure, I would recommend that the army should be 
sent down into yonder clump of reeds to ascertain what 
revenue is to be derived from the inhabitants thereof in the 
shape of wild- fowl, eggs, etc., while I visit the shore of the 
lagoon to ascertain the prospects of supply, in the form of 
shell-fish, from that quarter. Meanwhile, I would further 
advise your Majesty to sit down on this coral throne and 
enjoy the contemplation of your kingdom till we return." 

With a dignified bow and a little laugh Queen Pina 
assented, and the Prime Minister went off to the shore, 
while the army defiled towards the marsh. 

Left alone, Pina the First soon forgot her royal condi- 
tion in contemplation of the lovely prospect before her. 
As she gazed over the sand, and across the lagoon, and 
out on the gleaming sea, her thoughts assumed the wings 
of the morning and flew away over the mighty ocean to 
old England. Sadness filled her heart, and tears her 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 49 

eyes, as she thought of a mild little mother who had, 
since the departure of her three children, been reduced 
for companionship to a huge household cat, and who 
would ere long be wondering why letters were so long 
of coming from the dear ones who had left her. 

Pauline had a vivid imagination and great power of 
mental abstraction. She summoned up the image of the 
little mother so successfully that she felt as if she actually 
saw her knitting her socks, sadly, with her head on one 
side. She even heard her address the cat (she was 
accustomed to address the cat when alone), and express a 
hope that in the course of a month or six weeks more she 
might expect to have news of the absent ones. And 
Pauline almost saw the household cat, which occupied its 
usual place on the table at the old lady's elbow, blink its 
eyes with sympathy — or indifference, she could not be 
quite sure which. Then Pauline's wayward thoughts 
took a sudden flight to the island of Java, in the China 
seas, where she beheld a bald little old gentleman — a 
merchant and a shipowner — who was also her father, and 
who sat reading a newspaper in his office, and was 
wondering why his good ship Flying Fish — which was 
bringing his children to him besides a quantity of other 
goods — did not make its appearance, and she plainly saw 
the look of disappointment as he threw the paper down, 
exclaiming, " Odd, very odd, but she must turn up soon," 



50 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

Pauline saw nothing more after that for some time, 
because her eyes were blinded with tears. 

Then Queen Pina cheered up again, for she thought 
that surely a ship would soon pass the island and take 
them off. As this last thought became more definite (for 
Pina was very young and hopeful) her eyes dried and 
permitted her to observe her kingdom more clearly. 

The Prime Minister, she observed, was still busy on 
the shore, and, from his frequently stooping to pick up 
something, she argued that the affairs of State in that 
quarter were prospering. 

Presently, from the midst of a mass of reeds not far 
off, there arose a shout, easily recognisable as that of the 
army, which was followed by cries of a stupendous yet 
extremely familiar kind. Pauline started up in con- 
siderable haste, and a moment later beheld the chief 
authors of the noise burst from the clump of reeds in the 
form of a large sow and a troop of little pigs. 

They were evidently in a state of wild alarm, for, 
besides squealing with a degree of intensity possible only 
to pigs, they ran in such furious haste that they stumbled 
over sticks and stones in reckless confusion, scrambling 
to their feet again in such a hurry as to ensure repeated 
falls, and, gener^Uy, twirling themselves and their tails in 
a manner that was consistent with nothing short of 
raving madness. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEmSPIIERE. 61 

Little wonder that those creatures acted thus, for, close 
on their heels, gasping and glaring, the army burst forth 
and fell on them — literally fell on one of them, for Otto 
in his anxiety to catch the hindmost pig, a remarkably 
small but active animal, tripped over a root just as he 
was about to lay hold of its little tail and fell on the top 
of it with fearful violence. The mechanical pressure, 
combining with the creature's spiritual efforts, produced 
a sudden yell that threw the cries of its companions 
quite into the shade. It might have sufficed to blow 
Otto into the air. Indeed, it seemed as if some such 
result actually followed, for, after turning a complete 
somersault, the boy was on his feet again as if by magic ; 
but so also was the little pig, which, being thus forcibly 
separated from its family, turned aside and m.ade for the 
main thicket. To cut off its retreat, the army made a 
sudden flank movement, headed the enemy, grasped it by 
the curly tail, and sought to lift it into his arms, but the 
curly tail straightened out, and, being exceedingly thin 
as v/ell as taper, slipped from his hand. Need we say 
that the little pig came to the ground with a remonstrative 
squeal? It also rolled over. Otto, unable to check him- 
self, flew past. The pig rose, diverged, and resumed its 
headlong flight. Otto doubled, came- close up again, 
" stooped to conquer," and was on the f^nt of coming 
off victorious, when, with a final shriek of mingled rage 



52 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

and joy, the enemy rushed through a hole under a pricldy 
bush, while the discomfited army plunged headlong into 
the same, and stuck fast. 

Meanwhile the rest of the porcine family had 
found refuge in an almost impenetrable part of the 
thicket. 

"Pork, your Majesty," said Otto, on returning from 
the field of battle, " may at all events be counted as one 
of the products of your dominions." 

" Truly it would seem so," responded the Queen, with 
a laugh ; " nevertheless there does not appear to be much 
hope of its forming a source of supply to the royal 
larder." 

*' Time will show," said Dominick, coming up at the 
moment ; " and see, here are several kinds of shellfish, 
which will form a pleasant addition to our fare." 

"Ay, and I saw eggs among the reeds," said Otto, 
" some of which " 

" Not pigs' eggs, surely ?" interrupted Dominick. 

" They may be so," retorted Otto ; " the fact that 
English pigs don't lay eggs is no argument against 
South Sea pigs doing so if they choose. But, as I was 
about to say, your Majesty, when the Premier interrupted 
me — some of these eggs I gathered, and would have 
presented them as an offering from the army if I had not 
fallen and crushed them beyond repair." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 53 

In corroboration of what he said, Otto opened his coat 
pocket and revealed in its depths a mass of yellow sub- 
stance and broken shells. 

"Horrible !" exclaimed Pauline ; "how will you ever 
get it cleaned ?" 

" By turning it inside out — thus, most gracious 
Queen." 

He reversed the pocket as he spoke, allowing the 
yellow compound to drip on the ground, and thereafter 
wiped it with grass. 

" I wouldn't have minded this loss so much," he con- 
tinued, "if I had not lost that little pig. But I shall 
know him again when I see him, and you may depend 
on it that he is destined ere long to be turned into pork 
chops." 

" Well, then, on the strength of that hope we will con- 
tinue the survey of our possessions," said Dominick, 
leading the party still further into the low grounds. 

For some time the trio wandered about without making 
any further discoveries of importance until they came to 
a thicket, somewhat similar to the one near which they 
had been cast on shore, but much smaller. On entering 
it they were startled by a loud cackling noise, accom- 
panied by the whirring of wings. 

" Sounds marvellously like domestic fowls," said 
Dominick, as he pushed forward. And such it turned 

•r. 



54 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

out to be, for, on reaching an open glade in the thicket, 
they behekl a large flock of hens running on ahead of 
them, with a splendid cock bringing up the rear, which 
turned occasionally to cast an indignant look at the 
intruders. 

"That accounts for your eggs, Otto," observed 
Pauline. 

"Yes, and here are more of them," said the boy, 
pointing to a nest with half a dozen eggs in it, which ho 
immediately proceeded to gather. 

"It is quite evident to me," remarked Dominick, as 
they continued to advance, " that both the pigs and fov>^ls 
must have been landed from the wreck that lies on the 
shore, and that after the death of the poor fellows who 
escaped the sea they went wild. Probably they have 
multiplied, and we may find the land well stocked." 

"I hope so. Perhaps we may find some more traces 
of the shipwrecked crew," suggested Pauline. 

Their expectations were not disappointed, for, on 
returning in the evening from their tour of exploration, 
they came on a partially cleared place in the thicket 
beside the golden cave, which had evidently been used as 
a garden. In the midst of a mass of luxuriant under- 
growth, which almost smothered them, vegetables of 
various kinds were found growing— among others the 
sweet potato 




A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 55 

Gathering some of these, Otto declared joyfully that he 
meant to have a royal feast that night, but a difficulty 
which none of them had thought of had to be faced and 
overcome before that feast could be enjoyed. It was just 
as they arrived at the golden cave that this difficulty pre- 
sented itself to their minds. 

" Dom," said Otto, with a solemn look, " how are we to 
make a fire ?" 

" By kindling it, of course." 

" Yes, but, you stupid Premier, where are we to find a 
light?" 

" To tell you the truth, my boy," returned Dominick, 
" I libver thought of that till this moment, and I can't 
very well see my way out of the difficulty." 

Pauline, to whom the brothers now looked, shook her 
head. Never before, she said, had she occasion to trouble 
her brain about a light. When she wanted one in 
England, all she had to do was to call for one, or strike a 
match. What was to be done in their present circum- 
stances she had not the smallest conception. 

" I '11 tell you what," said Otto, after several suggestions 
had been made and rejected, "this is how we'll do it. 
We will gather a lot of dry grass and dead sticks and 
build them up into a pile with logs around it, then Pina 
will sit down and gaze steadily at the heart of the pile 
for some minutes with her great, brown, sparkling eyes \ 



56 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

she should be able to kindle a flame in the heart of 
almost anything in five minutes — or, say ten, at the out- 
side, eh?" 

" I should think," retorted the Queen, " that your fiery 
spirit or flashing wit might accomplish the feat in a 
shorter time." 

"It seems to me," remarked Dominick, who had been 
thinking too hard to pay much regard to these plea- 
santries, " that if we live long here we shall have to begin 
life over a^iijain — not our own lives, exactlv, but the 
world's life. We shall have to invent everything anew 
for ourselves ; discover new methods of performing old 
familiar work, and, generally, exercise our ingenuity to 
the uttermost." 

"That may be quite true, you philosophic Premier," 
returned Otto, " but it does not light our fire, or roast 
that old hen which you brought down with a stone so 
cleverly to-day. Come, now, let us exercise our ingenuity 
a little more to the purpose, if possible." 

" If we had only some tinder," said Dominick, " we 
could find flint, I dare say, or some hard kind of stone 
from which fire could be struck with the back of a clasp 
knife, but I have seen nothing like tinder to-day. I 've 
heard that burnt rag makes capital tinder. If so, a bit of 
Pina's dress might do, but we can't burn it without 
fire." 




A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIKMISPIIERE. 57 

For a considerable time the trio sought to devise some 
means of procuring fire, but without success, and they 
were at last fain to content themselves with another cold 
supper of cocoanut and water, after which, being rather 
tired, they went to rest as on the previous night. 



K 



5S THE ISLAND QUEEN J 



CHAPTEE IV. 

DIFFICULTIES MET AND OVERCOME. 

rriHE next day Pauline and her brothers visited the 
■wreck, and here new difficulties met them, for 
although the vessel lay hard and fast on the rocks, there 
was a belt of w^ater between it and the main shore which 
was not only broad, but deep. 

"I can easily swim it," said Dominick, beginning to 
pull off his coat. 

"Dom," said Otto, solemnly, " sharks !" 

" That 's true, my boy, I won't risk it." 

He put his coat on again, and turned to look for some 
drift-wood with which to make a raft. 

" There 's sure to be some lying about, you know," he 
said, *' for a wreck could hardly take place without some- 
thing or other in the way of spars or wreckage being 
washed ashore." 

" But don't you think,** suggested Otto, " that the men 
whose graves we have found may have used it all up ? " 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 59 

Otto was riglit. Not a scrap of timber or cordage of 
any kind was to be found after a most diligent search, and 
they were about to give it up in despair, when Pauline 
remembered the bay where they had been cast ashore, 
and which we have described as being filled with wreck- 
acre. 

In truth, this bay and the reef with its group of islands 
lay right in the track of one of those great ocean currents 
which, as the reader probably knows, are caused by the 
constant circulation of all the waters of the sea between 
the equator and the poles. This grand and continuous 
flow is caused by difference of temperature and density 
in sea water at different places. At the equator the 
water is warm, at the poles it is cold. This alone would 
suffice to cause circulation — somewhat as water circulates 
in a boiling pot — but other active agents are at work. 
Tlie Arctic and Antarctic snows freshen the sea- water as 
well as cool it, while equatorial heat evaporates as well 
as warms it, and thus leaves a superabundance of 
salt and lime behind. The grand ocean current thus 
caused is broken up into smaller streams, and the courses 
of these are fixed by the conformation of land — ^just as a 
river's flow is turned right or left, and sometimes back- 
ward in eddies, by the form of its banks and bottom. 
Trade winds and the earth's motion on its axis still fur- 
ttiKSi modify the streams, both as to direction and force. 



60 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

It was one of tliose currents, then, which flowed past the 
reef and sometimes cast vessels and wreckage on its shores. 

Hastening to the bay, they accordingly found enough of 
broken spars and planks to have made half a dozen rafts 
twice the size of that required to go off with to the wreck ; 
so to work they went at once with eager enthusiasm. 

" Hold on !" shouted Dominick, after a few spars had 
been collected and dragged up on the sand. 

Otto and Pauline paused in their labour, and looked 
anxiously at their brother, for his face wore a perplexed 
look. 

" We have forgotten that it is impossible to shove a raft 
of any size, big or little, through these huge breakers so 
as to get it round the point to where the wreck lies." 

*' Well, then," cried Otto, with the ready assurance of 
ignorance, " we '11 just drag it overland to the wreck, and 
launch it there." 

" But, Otto, you have not taken into consideration the 
fact that our raft must be so large that, when finished, 
the dragging of it over rough ground would require three 
or four horses instead of three human beings." 

" Well, then," returned the boy, " we '11 make it small, 
just big enough to carry one person, and then we '11 be 
able to drag it overland, and can go off to the wTeck one 
at a time." 

"Now, just think, brainless one," retorted Dominick; 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISPIIEKE. 61 

" suppose that I ^yere to go off first to the wreck, what 
then r' 

" Why, then I would go off next of course, and then 
Pina would follow, and so we 'd all get on board one at a 
time, and explore it together." 

" Yes ; but what would you come off on ? " 

" The raft, to be sure." 

" But the raft, I have supposed, is with me at the 
wreck. It won't iro back to the shore of its own accord 
to fetch you, and we have no ropes with which to haul 
it to and fro." 

" Then there 's nothing for it," said Otto, after a few 
moments' thought, " but to make it big enough for two, 
or carry over the broken spars and planks piecemeal, and 
put them together opposite the wreck ; so, come along." 

This latter plan being adopted, they set to work with 
energy. To their joy they found not only that a good 
deal of cordage — somewhat worn, indeed, but still service- 
able — was mingled with the wreckage, but that many 
large protruding bolts and rusty nails formed convenient 
holdfasts, which facilitated the building up and fasten- 
ing together of the parts. 

At last, after considerable labour, the raft was got ready 
early in the afternoon, and the brothers, embarking on it 
with two long poles, pushed off to the wreck while Pauline 
sat on the shore and watched them. 



62 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

It was an anxious moment when they drew near 
enough to observe the vessel more distinctly, for it was 
just possible that tliey might find in her hold a supply 
of food and things they stood so much in need of, while, 
on the other hand, there was a strong probability that 
everything had been washed out of her long ago, or that 
her former crew had taken out all that was worth re- 
moviuGj. 

" What if we should find casks of biscuits and barrels 
of pork, to say nothing of tea and sugar, and such like ? " 
murmured the sanguine Otto, as they poled slowly out. 

" And what if we should find nothing at all ? " said 
Dominick. 

" Dom ! " exclaimed Otto, in a voice so despairing 
that his companion turned to look at him in surprise. 
" Look ! see ! the ship has been on fire ! It can only be 
the mere skeleton that is left." 

Dominick turned quickly, and saw that his brother had 
reason for this remark. They had by that time approached 
so near to the wreck that the charred condition of part of 
her bulwarks, and specially of her lower spars, became 
obvious ; and when, a few minutes later, they stood on hei 
deck, the scene that presented itself was one of black 
desolation. Evidently the ill-fated vessel had been 
enveloped in flames, for everything on board was 
charred, and it was almost certain that her crew had 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 63 

rim her on the rocks as the only method of escaping, 
her boats having been totally destroyed, as was apparent 
from the small portions of them that still hung from the 
davits. 

" Nothim^ left ! " said Otto. " I think that Eobinson 
Crusoe himself would have given way to despair if his 
wreck had been anything like this. I wonder that even 
this much of it has been left above water after fire had 
got hold of it." 

"Perhaps the hull sank after the first crash on the 
rocks, and put out the fire," suggested Dominick, " and 
then subsequent gales may have driven her higher up. 
Even now her stern lies pretty deep, and everything in 
her hold has been washed away." 

There could be no doubt as to the latter point, for the 
deck had been blown up, probably by gunpowder, near 
the main-hatch, leaving a great hole, through which the 
hold could be seen almost as far as the bulkhead of the 
forecastle. 

Hastening forward to the hatchway of this part of the 
vessel, in the feeble hope that they might still find some- 
thing that would be of use, they descended quickly, but 
the first glance round quenched such a hope, for the fire 
had done its work there effectually, and, besides, there 
were obvious indications that what the fire had spared 
her crew had carried away. The only things left of any 



64 THE ISLAND QUEEN ; 

value were the charred remnants of the harainoc'ks and 
bedding which had belonged to the sailors. 

"Hurrah !" shouted Otto, with a sudden burst of joy, 
as he leaped forward and dragged out a quantity of the 
bedding ; " here 's what '11 make fire at last ! You said, 
Dom, that burnt rag was capital tinder. 'SVeYi, here we 
have burnt sheets enough to last us for years to come ! " 

" That 's true," returned Dominick, laughing at his 
brother's enthusiasm ; " let 's go aft and see if we can 
stumble on somethinir more." 

But the examination of the after part of the vessel 
yielded no fruit. As we have said, that part was sunk 
deeply, so that only the cabin skylight was above water, 
and, although they both gazed intently down through 
the water with which the cabin was filled, they could 
see nothing whatever. With a boat-hook which they 
found jammed in the port bulwarks, they poked and 
groped about for a considerable time, but hooked nothing, 
and were finally obliged to return empty-handed to the 
anxious Pauline. 

Otto did not neglect, however, to carry off a pocketful 
of burnt-sheeting, by means of which, with flint and steel, 
they were enabled that night to eat their supper by the 
blaze of a cheering fire. The human heart when young 
does not quickly or easily give way to despondency. 
Although the Eigondas had thus been cast on an island 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 65 

in the equatorial seas, and continued week after week to 
dwell there, living on wild fruits and eggs, and such 
animals and birds as they managed to snare, with no 
better shelter than a rocky cavern, and with little pro- 
spect of a speedy release, they did not by any means 
mourn over their lot. 

" You see," remarked Otto, one evening when his sister 
wondered, with a sigh, whether their mother had yet 
begun to feel very anxious about them, "you see she 
could not have expected to hear much before this time, 
for the voyage to Eastern seas is always a long one, and 
it is well known that vessels often get blown far out of 
their courses by monsoons, and simoons, and baboons, and 
such like southern hurricanes, so motherkins won't begin 
to grow anxious I hope for a long time yet, and it 's likely 
that before slie becomes very uneasy about us, some ship 
or other will pass close enough to see our signals and take 
us off, so " 

" By the way," interrupted Dominick, " have you tried 
to climb our signal- tree, as you said you would do, to 
replace the flag that was blown away by last night's 
gale ? " 

" Of course not. There 's no hurry, Dom," answered 
Otto, who, if truth must be told, was not very anxious to 
escape too soon from his present romantic position, and 
thought that it would be time enough to attract the atten- 



66 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

tion of any passing vessel when they grew tired of their 
solitude. "Besides," he continued, with that tendency 
to self-defence which is so natural to fallen humanity, 
" I 'm not a squirrel to run up the straight stem of a 
branchless tree iif by feet high or more." 

" No, my boy, you 're not a squirrel, but, as I have 
often told you, you are a monkey — at least, monkey 
enough to accomplish your ends when you have a mind 
to." 

" Xow, really you are too hard," returned Otto, who 
was busily employed as he spoke in boring a hole 
through a cocoa-nut to get at the milk, " you know very 
well that the branch of the neighbouring tree by which 
we managed to reach the branches of the signal- tree has 
been blown away, so that the thing is impossible, for the 
stem is far too big to be climbed in the same way as I 
get up the cocoa-nut trees." 

" That has nothing to do with the question," retorted 
Dominick, " you said you would try." 

Otto looked with an injured expression at his sister, 
and asked what she thought of a man being required to 
attempt impossibilities. 

" Not a man — a monkey," interjected his brother. 

" AVhether man or monkey," said Pauline, in her quiet 
but decided way, " if you promised to attempt the thing, 
you are bound to try." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IlEMISniERE. 67 

"Well, then, I will try, and here, I drink success to the 
trial." Otto applied the cocoa-nut to his lips, and took a 
long pull. " Come along, now, the sooner I prove the 
impossibility the better." 

Eising at once, with an injured expression, the boy led 
the way towards a little eminence close at hand, on the 
top of which grew a few trees of various kinds, the tallest 
of these being the signal-tree, to which Dominick had 
fixed one of the half-burnt pieces of sheeting brought 
from the wreck. The stem was perfectly straight and 
seemingly smooth, and as they stood at its foot gazing up 
to the fluttering little piece of rag that still adhered to it, 
the impossibility of the ascent became indeed very obvious. 

" Now, sir, are you convinced ? " said Otto. 

"No, sir, I am not convinced," returned Dominick. 
" You said you would try." 

Without another word Otto grasped the stem of the 
tree with arms and legs, and did his best to ascend it. 
He had, in truth, so much of the monkey in him, and 
was so wiry and tough; that he succeeded in getting up 
full twelve or fourteen feet before being utterly exhausted. 
At that point, however, he stuck, but instead of slipping 
down as he had intended, and again requesting to know 
whether his brother was convinced, he uttered a sharp 
cry, and shouted — 

" Oh ! I say, Dom, what am I to do ? " 



68 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" Why, slip down, of course." 

" But I can 't. The bark seems to be made of needle- 
points, all sticking upwards. If I try to slip, my trousers 
will remain behind, and — and — I can't hold on much 
longer ! " ' 

" Let go then, and drop," said Dominick, stepping close 
to the tree. 

" Oh no, don't ! '"' cried Pauline, with a little shriek ; 
" if you do you '11 — you '11 " 

" Bust ! Yes, I know I shall," shouted Otto, in despair. 

" No fear," cried Dominick, holding out his arms, " let 
go, I '11 cat " 

He was stopped abruptly by receiving a shock from his 
little brother which sent him sprawling on his back. He 
sprang up, however, with a gasp. 

" Why, boy, I had no idea you were so heavy," he ex- 
claimed, laughing. 

"Now, don't you go boasting in future, you prime 
minister, that I can't knock you down," said Otto, as he 
gathered himself up. " But I say, you 're not hurt, are 
you ? " he added, with a look of concern, while Pauline 
seized one of Dominick's hands and echoed the question. 

" Not in the least — only a little wind knocked out of 
me. Moreover, I 'm not yet convinced that the ascent 
of that tree is an impossibility." 

" You '11 have to do it yourself, then," said Otto ; " and 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEIiN HEMISPHERE. 69 

let me warn you beforehand that, though 1 'm very grate- 
ful to you, I won't stand under to catch you." 

" Was it not you who said the other night at supper 
that whatever a fellow resolved to do he could accomplish, 
and added that where there 's a will there 's a way ? " 

" I rather think it was you, Dom, who gave expression 
to those boastful sentiments." 

" It may be so. At all events I hold them. Come, 
now, lend a hand and help me. The work will take 
some time, as we have no other implements than our 
gully-knives, but we '11 manage it somehow." 

" Can I not help you ? " asked Pauline. 

" Of course you can. Sit down on the bank here, and 
I '11 give you something to do presently." 

Dominick went, as he spoke, to a small tree, the bark 
of which was long, tough, and stringy. Cutting off a 
quantity of this, he took it to his sister, and showed her 
how to twist some of it into stout cordage. Leaving her 
busily at work on this, he went down to the nearest 
bamboo thicket and cut a stout cane. It took some 
time to cut, for the bamboo was hard and the knife small 
for such work. From the end of the cane he cut off a 
piece about a foot in length. 

" Now, Otto, my boy, you split that into four pieces, 
and sharpen the end of each piece, w^hile I cut ofi' auother 
foot of the bamboo." 



70 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

"But what are you going to do with these bits of 
stick ? " asked Otto, as he went to work with a will. 

" You shall see. No use in wasting time with explana- 
tions just now. I read of the plan in a book of travels. 
There 's nothing like a good book of travels to put one up 
to numerous dodges." 

" I 'm not so sure o' that," objected the boy. " I have 
read Robinson Crusoe over and over, and over again, and 
I don't recollect reading of his having made use of pegs 
to climb trees with." 

" Your memory may be at fault, perhaps. Besides, 
Eobinson's is not the only book of travels in the world," 
returned Dominick, as he hacked away at the stout 
bamboo. 

" No ; but it is certainly the best," returned Otto, with 
enthusiasm, " and I mean to imitate its hero." 

" Don't do that, my boy," said Dominick ; " whatever 
you do, don't imitate. Act well the part allotted to you, 
whatever it may be, according to the promptings of your 
own particular nature ; but don't imitate." 

" Humph ! I won't be guided by your wise notions, 
Mr. Premier. All I know is, that I wish my clothes 
would wear out faster, so that I might dress myself in 
skins of some sort. I would have made an umbrella by 
this time, but it never seems to rain in this country." 

" Ha I Wait till the rainy season comes round, and 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISPIIErvE. 7 1 

you'll have more tliau enough of it. Come, we Ve got 
enough of pegs to begin with. Go into the thicket now; 
cut some of the longest bamboos you can find, and bring 
them to me ; six or eight will do — slender ones, about 
twice the thickness of my thumb at the ground." 

AVhile Otto was engaged in obeying this order, his 
brother returned to the signal- tree. 

*' "Well done, Pina," he said ; " you Ve made some capital 
cordacje." 

" What are you going to do now, brother ?" 

** You shall see," said Dominick, picking up a heavy 
stone to use as a hammer, with which he drove one of 
the hard, sharp pegs into the tree, at about three feet 
from the ground. We have said the peg was a foot long. 
As he fixed it in the tree about three inches deep, nine 
inches of it projected. On this he placed his foot and 
raised himself to test its strength. It bore his weif^-ht 
well. Above this first peg he fixed a second, three feet or 
so higher, and then a third about level with his face. 

" Ah ! I see," exclaimed Otto, coming up at that 
moment with several long bamboos. "But, man, don't 
you see that if one of these pegs should give way while 
you 're driving those above it, down you come by the run, 
and, if you should be high up at the time, death will be 
probable — lameness for life, certain." 

Dominick did not condescend to answer this remark, 



72 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

but, taking one of the bamboos, stood it up close to the 
tree, not touching, but a few inches from the trunk, and 
bound it firmly with the cord to the three pegs. Thus he 
had the first three rounds or rungs of an upright ladder, 
one side of which was the tree, the other the bamboo. 
Mounting the second of these rungs he drove in a fourth 
peg, and fastened the bamboo to it in the same way, and 
then, taking another step, he fixed a fifth peg. Thus, 
step by step, he mounted till he had reached between 
fifteen and twenty feet from the ground, where the upright 
bamboo becoming too slender, another was called for and 
handed up by Otto. This was lashed to the first bamboo, 
as well as to three of the highest pegs, and the operation 
was continued. When the thin part of the second long 
bamboo was reached, a third was added ; and so the work 
progressed until the ladder was completed, and the lower 
branches of the tree were gained. 

Long before that point, however. Otto begged to be 
allowed to continue and finish the work, which his brother 
agreed to, and, finally, the signal flag was renewed, by the 
greater part of an old hammock being lashed to the lop 
of the tree. 

But weeks and months passed away, and the flag con- 
tinued to fly without attracting the attention of any one 
more important or more powerful to deliver them than the 
albatross and the wild sea-mew. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEEN HEMISPHERE. 73 

During this period the ingenuity and inventive powers 
of the party were taxed severely, for, being utterly desti- 
tute of tools of any kind, with the exception of the gully- 
knives before mentioned, they found it extremely difficult 
to fashion any sort of implement. 

" If we had only an axe or a saw," said Otto one 
morning, with a groan of despair, " what a difference it 
would make." 

" Isn't there a proverb," said Pauline, who at the time 
was busy making cordage while Otto was breaking sticks 
for the fire, " which says that we never know our mercies 
till we lose them ?" 

" Perhaps there is," said Otto, " and if there isn't I don*t 
care. I don't like proverbs, they always tell you in an 
owlishly wise sort o' way what you know only too well, 
at a time when you'd rather not know it if possible. Now, 
if we only had an axe — ever so small — I would be able 
to fell trees and cut 'em up into big logs, instead of 
spending hours every day searching for dead branches 
and breaking them across my knee. It 's not a pleasant 
branch of our business, I can tell you." 

" But you have the variety of hunting," said his sister, 
" and that, you know, is an agreeable as well as useful 
branch." 

" Humph ! It 's not so agreeable as I used to think it 
would be, when one has to run after creatures that run 

F 



74 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

faster than one*s-self, and one is obliged to use wooden 
spears, and slings instead of guns. By the way, what a 
surprising, I may say awful, effect a well-slung stone has 
on the side of a little pig ! I came upon a herd yesterday 
in the cane-brake, and before they could get away I slung 
a big stone at them, which caught the smallest of the 
squeakers fair in the side. The sudden squeal that 
followed the slap was so intense that I thought the life 
had gone out of the creature in one agonising gush ; but 
it hadn't, so I slung another stone, which took it in the 
head and dropt it." 

" Poor thing ! I wonder how you can be so cruel." 

"Cruel !" exclaimed Otto, " I don't do it for pleasure, 
do I ? Pigs and other things have got to be killed if we 
are to live." 

" Well, I suppose so," returned Pauline, with a sigh ; " at 
all events it would never do to roast and eat them alive ! 
But, about the axe. Is there no iron-work in the wreck 
that might be fashioned into one ?" 

" Oh yes, sister dear," returned Otto, with a short 
laugh, " there 's plenty of iron-work. Some crowbars and 
ringbolts, and an anchor or two ; but do you suppose that 
I can slice off a bit of an anchor in the shape of an axe 
as you slice a loaf ? " 

" Well no, not exactly, but I thought there might be 
some small flat pieces that could be made to do." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN" nEMISPIIEKE. 75 

" What is your difficulty," asked Dominick, returning 
from a hunting expedition at that moment, and flinging 
down three brace of fowls on the floor of the golden cave. 

When tlie difficulty was stated, he remarked that he had 
often pondered the matter while lying awake at night, and 
when wandering in the woods ; and he had come to the 
conclusion that they must return to what was termed the 
stone period of history and make their axes of flint. 

Otto shook his head, and thought Pina's idea of searching 
the wreck till they found a piece of flat metal w^as a more 
hopeful scheme. 

" What do you say to trying both plans ?" cried Pauline, 
with sudden animation. " Come, as you have voluntarily 
elected me queen of this realm, I command you, Sir 
Dominick, to make a flint axe without delay, and you, Sir 
Otto, to make an iron one without loss of time." 

" Your majesty shall be obeyed," replied her obedient 
subjects, and to work they went accordingly, the very 
next mornincr. 

Dominick searched far and near for a flint Isima enough 
for his purpose. He found several, and tried to split them 
by laying them on a flat stone, upheaving another stone 
as large as he could lift, and hurling it down on them with 
all his might. Sometimes the flint would fly from under 
the stone without being broken, sometimes it would be 
crushed to fragments, and at other times would split in a 



76 THE ISLAND QUEEN ; 

manner that rendered it quite unsuitable. At last, how- 
ever, by patient perseverance, he succeeded in splitting 
one so that an edge of it was thin and sharp, while the 
other end was thick and blunt. 

Delighted with this success, he immediately cut with 
his knife a branch of one of the hardest trees he could 
find, and formed it into an axe-handle. Some of Pauline's 
cord he tied round the middle of this, and then split it at 
one end, using his flint for the purpose and a stone for 
a hammer. The split extended only as far as the cord, 
and he forced it open by means of little stones as w^edges 
until it was wide enough to admit the thick end of his 
flint axe-head. Using a piece of soft stone as a pencil, he 
now marked the form of the flint, where it touched the 
wood, exactly, and worked at this with liis knife, as 
patiently as a Chinaman, for several hours, until the wood 
fitted the irregularities and indentations of the flint to a 
nicety. This of itself caused the wood to hold the flint- 
head very firmly. Then the wedges were removed, and 
when the handle was bound all round the split part with 
cord, and the flint-head enveloped in the same, the whole 
thing became like a solid mass. 

Gingerly and anxiously did Dominick apply it to a 
tree. To his joy his axe caused the chips to fly in all 
directions. He soon stopped, how^ever, for fear of breaking 
it, and set off in triumph to the golden cave. 



A TALE OF TIIE SOUTnERN nEMISPIIEEE. 77 

Meanwhile Otto, launching the raft, went on board the 
wreck to searcli for a suitable bit of iron. As he had said, 
there was plenty on board, but none of the size or shape 
that he required, and he was about to quit in despair when 
he observed the flat iron plates, about five inches square 
and quarter of an inch thick, with a large hole in the 
centre of each, which formed the sockets that held the 
davits for suspending the ship's boats. A crowbar enabled 
him, after much trouble, to wrench off one of these. A 
handspike was, after some hours' labour, converted into 
a handle with one side cut flat. Laying the plate on this, 
he marked its exact size, and then cut away the wood 
until the iron sank its own thickness into it. There were 
plenty of nails in the wreck ; with these he nailed the 
iron, through its own nail-holes, to the hard handspike, 
and, still further to secure it, he covered it with a little 
piece of flat wood, which he bound firmly on with some 
cordage made by his sister from cocoanut fibre. As the 
iron projected on both sides of the handle, it thus formed 
a double-edged axe of the most formidable appearance. Of 
course the edges required grinding down, but this was a 
mere matter of detail, to be accomplished by prolonged and 
patient rubbing on a stone ! , 

Otto arrived triumphantly at the golden cave almost at 
the same moment with his brother, and they both laid 
their axes at the feet of the queen. 



78 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" Thanks, my trusty vassals," she said ; " I knew you 
would both succeed, and had prepared a royal feast 
against your return." 

" To which I have brought a royal appetite, your 
majesty/' said Otto. 

" In truth so have I," added Dominick. 

There was a good deal of jesting in all this ; nevertheless 
the trio sat down to supper that night highly pleased with 
themselves. While eating, they discussed, with much 
animation, the merits of the axes, and experienced no little 
difficulty in deciding which was the better tool. At last 
Pauline settled the matter by declaring that the iron axe, 
being the strongest, was, perhaps, the best ; but as it was 
not yet sharpened, while Dominick's was ready for imme- 
diate use, the flint axe was in present circumstances better 

*' So then, being equal," said Otto, " and having had a 
splendid supper, we will retire to rest." 

Thus, in devising means for increasing their comforts 
and supplying their daily necessities, the days and weeks 
flew swiftly by. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEKX HEMISPHERE. 79 



CnAPTEE V. 



STIRRINQ EVENTS AND CHANGES. 



A N event was now pending over the castaway family 
whicli was destined to darken their bright sky, and 
interrupt them in the even tenor of their way. 

Up to this time the interest, not to say delight, with 
which they went about their daily avocations, the fineness 
of the weather, and the romance of their situation, had 
prevented their minds from dwelling much on the flight 
of time, and if Pauline had not remembered the Sundays 
by conscientiously keeping a daily record with a pencil 
on a piece of bark, not one of them would have believed 
it possible that two months had elapsed since they were 
cast ashore. 

The sanguine hope, too, which filled the breast of each, 
that a vessel would certainly pass by sooner or later and 
take them off, prevented their being disturbed by gloomy 
anticipations of a long exile, and it is probable that they 
would have gone on pleasantly for a much longer time 
improving the golden cave and exploring the reef and 



80 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

developing the resources of what Otto styled the Queen- 
dora, without much caring ahout the future, had not the 
event above referred to come upon them with the sudden 
violence of a thunder-clap, terminating their peaceful life 
in a way they had never anticipated, and leading to changes 
which the wildest imagination could hardly have conceived. 

That event was, indeed, the arrival of a ship, but it did 
not arrive in the manner that had been expected. It came 
in the dead of a dark night, when the elements seemed to 
have declared fierce war against each other, for it was 
difficult to say whether the roaring of the sea, the crash- 
ins: of the thunder, or the flashinnj of the forked lio,htninn 
was most tremendous. 

A previous storm or two of a mild type having ^varned 
our trio that Paradise had not been quite regained, even 
in that lovely region, they had fitted something like a 
front, formed of wreckage, to the golden cave, and this 
had, up to that time, formed a sufficient protection against 
slight inclemencies of weather ; but on this particular 
night the gusts of wind were so violent, and shook the 
front of their dwelling so much, that both Dominick and 
his brother found it impossible to sleep. Their sister, how- 
ever, lay undisturbed, because she reposed in an inner 
chamber, which had been screened off with broken planks, 
and tliexSe not only checked draughts, but deadened sounds. 

*' I 'm afraid our wall w^ill como down," said Dominick, 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 81 

raising himself at last on one elbow, and gazing at the 
wooden erection uneasily. 

" Oh, let it come ! " growled Otto, who had been so 
frequently checked while dropping into slumber that 
night that he was getting quite cross. 

Not feeling quite so regardless of consequences, his 
brother Dominick arose and endeavoured to prop the 
weak part of the structure with an additional piece of 
timber. 

He had accomplished his object, and was about to lie 
down again to rest, when a terrible cry was heard, which 
rose above the roaring of the storm. There seemed some- 
thing so appalling in it, and at the same time so un- 
accountable in that solitary spot, that Dominick's heart 
almost stood still for a moment with superstitious fear. 
Otto also heard the cry, and sat bolt upright, while 
drowsiness was effectually banished from his brain. 

" Dom, did you hear that ? " he asked in a solemn voice. 

" I should think I did," replied his brother in a low tone. 

The cave being very dark, neither could see the other 
distinctly. They sat silent for a few moments, anxiously 
listening for a repetition of the cry. 

" Move quietly, Otto," said Dominick, as he crept to- 
wards their little door, " it evidently has not awaked 
Pina, and we may as well let her lie still till we find out 
what it is." 



82 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" You 're not going out, Dom ? " asked Otto, in anxiety. 

" Yes, why not ? " 

" Be— because — it — it may be — be — something — 
awful ! " 

" It must be something awful, and that is just why I 
am going out. Come, you didn't use to be a coward." 

This was touching the boy on a tender point. He was 
indeed by no means a coward when the danger he had 
to face was comprehensible and obvious, but when the 
danger happened to be incomprehensible, as well as in- 
visible, his courage was not quite as high as might have 
been desired. The taunt of his brother stirred up his 
pride however. He rose and followed him in silence, 
with stern resolve and a quaking heart ! 

On issuino: from their shelter the brothers had to lean 
heavily against the blast to prevent their being swept 
away. Seeking the shelter of a bush, they gazed around 
them, but saw nothing save a dim appearance of bending 
trees and scudding foam. 

" The cry may have come from the beach ; let 's go 
down," said Dominick, leaving the shelter of the bush, and 
pushing forward. 

" Better go back," was on Otto's lips, but he repressed 
the words and followed. 

There was not light enough to enable them to see objects 
on land, but whatever chanced to be pictured against the 



A TALE OF T1I£ SOUTHERN nEMISPIIERE. ' 83 

dark sky became distinctly visible as a dark object. 
The old familiar -wreck was tlierefore seen the moment 
they cleared the bushes that fringed the bay, but close 
to it was another object which was very unfamiliar 
indeed to their eyes. It accounted for the cry and 
caused a gush of mingled feelings in the breasts of the 
brothers. 

Let us now, good reader, wing our flight out to sea, and 
backwards a little in time. On that stormy night of 
which we treat, a large emigrant ship was scudding be- 
fore the gale almost under bare poles. Part of her sails 
a^id rigging had been carried away ; the rest of her was 
more or less damaged. The officers, having had no re- 
liable observation for several days, were not sure of their 
exact position on the great ocean, and the captain, being 
well aware of the danger of those seas, was filled with 
anxiety. To add to his troubles, the crew had become 
slightly mutinous, and some of the emigrants — of whom 
there were upwards of three hundred on board — sided 
with the crew. It was even whispered that the chief 
mate was at the bottom of a plot to murder the captain 
and seize the ship. For what purpose, of course, no one 
could tell, and, indeed, there was no apparent ground for the 
rumour beyond the fact that the mate — Malines by name 
— was a surly, taciturn man, with a scowling, though 
handsome, visage, and a powerful frame. 



84 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

But whatever of truth might have been in these 
rumours was never brought to light, for an accident 
occurred during the gale which put the commander of 
the vessel beyond the powder of earthly foes. One of the 
larger ropes of the vessel snapt, and the heavy block 
attached to it swung against the captain with such 
violence as to kill him on the spot. The momentary 
confusion which followed the disaster distracted the 
attention of the steersman, and a heavy sea was shipped 
by which the captain's body was swept overboard. No 
attempt was made to lower a boat or check the ship. 
Even the unskilled emigrants understood that no boat 
could live in such a sea, and that rescue was impossible. 
The vessel held on her wild course as if nothing had hap- 
pened. 

Malines, being now in command, issued an order that all 
the emigrants should go below, and the hatches be secured. 

The women and children and most of the men were 
already in their uncomfortable quarters below hatches, 
but a group of hardy-looking fellows, who held on to 
ropes and stanchions near the windlass, refused to move. 
Among them was a remarkably powerful woman, whose 
tongue afforded presumptive evidence that she had been 
born in the Emerald Isle. 

"We'll stop where we be, master," said one of the 
emigrants, with a quiet but resolute air. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIErvN HEMISPHERE. 85 

"That's right, Joe, stick up. We ain't slaves," said 
another. 

To this last speaker Malines turned fiercely and knocked 
him down ; then, seizing him by the collar and dragging 
him to the hatchway, he thrust him below. It may be 
remarked that the man thus roughly treated — Eedding 
by name — was a little man. Bullies usually select little 
men when inclined to display their courage ! 

" Shame on yez," exclaimed the Irish w^oman, clenching 
her huge fist " If it wasn't that I 'm a poor widdy 
woman, I 'd— I 'd " 

" Howld yer tongue, Mother Lynch," whispered a lively 
youth of about nineteen by her side, who obviously hailed 
from the same country. " It 's not aggravatin' him that 11 
do Mm good. Let him be, darlin', and he '11 soon blow 
the steam off." 

"An' what does it matter to me, Teddy Malone, 
whether he blows the steam off or keeps it down till he 
bursts his biler ? Is it a descendant o' the rayal family 
o' Munster as '11 howld her tongue whin she sees cruelty 
and injustice ?" 

Without paying the slightest regard to this royal 
personage, Malines returned to the group of men, and 
repeated his order to go below ; but they did not go, and 
he seized a handspike with a view to enforce his com- 
mands. He hesitated, however, on observing that the 



86 THE ISLAND QUEEX : 

man named Joe, after quietly buttoning liis coat, was 
turning up his wristbands as if in preparation for a 
pugilistic encounter. 

" Lookee here now, Mister jNIalines," said Joe, with a 
mild, even kindly, expression, wdiich w^as the very 
reverse of belligerent ; " I was allers a law-abidin* 
man myself, and don't hav3 no love for fightin' ; but 
when I 'm ordered to go into a dark hole, and have the 
lid shut down on me an' locked, I'feels a sort of objection, 
dee see. If you lets us be, us '11 let you be. If other- 
•wise " 

Joe stopped abruptly, grinned, and clenched his 
enormous fists. 

Mr. Malines was one of those wise men who know 
when they have met their match. His knockings down 
and overbearing ways always stopped short at that line 
where he met courage and strength equal or superior to 
his own. He possessed about the average of bull-dog 
courage and more than the average of physical strength, 
but observing that Joe w^as gifted with still more of both 
these qualities, he lowered the handspike, and with a 
sneer replied — 

" Oh, w^ell — please yourselves. It matters nothing to 
me if you get w^ashed overboard. Make all fast, lads," he 
added, turning to his crew, who stood prepared for what 
one of them styled a scrimmage. Malines returned to the 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN nEMISrHERE. 87 

quarter-deck, followed by a half-sux^pressed laugli from 
some of the mutinous emigrants. 

" You see, David," remarked Joe, in a quiet tone, to a 
man beside him, as he turned down his cuffs, " I think, 
from the look of him, that if we was to strike on rocks, 
or run on shore, or take to sinking, or anything o' that 
sort, the mate is mean enough to look arter hisself and 
leave the poor things below to be choked in a hole. So 
you an' me must keep on deck, so as to let 'em all out if 
need be." 

" Eight, Joe, right you are." 

The man who thus replied bore such a strong resem- 
blance to Joe in grave kindliness of expression and 
colossal size of frame, that even a stranger could not fail 
to recognise them as brothers, and such they were — in 
truth they were twins, having first seen the light together 
just thirty years before. There was this difference in the 
character of the brothers, however, that Joe Binney was 
the more intellectual and resolute of the two. David 
Binney, recognising this fact, and loving his brother with 
all the fervour of a strong nature, was in the habit of 
looking up to him for advice, and submitting to him as if 
he had been an elder brother. Nevertheless, David was 
not without a mind of his own, and sometimes differed in 
opinion with Joe. He even occasionally disputed, but 
never with the slightest tinge of ill-feeling. 



88 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

While tlie brothers were conversing in an undertone 
on the dangers of the sea, and the disagreeables of a fore 
cabin, the mass of unfortunates below were cowering in 
their berths, rendered almost forgetful of the stifling 
atmosphere, and the wailing of sick children, by the fear 
of shipwreck, as they listened with throbbing hearts to 
the howling wind and rattling cordage overhead, and felt 
the tremendous shocks when the good ship was buffeted 
by the sea. 

Near to Joe Binney stood one of the sailors on outlook. 
He was a dark-complexioned, savage-looking man, who 
had done more than any one else to foment the bad feel- 
ing that had existed between the captain and his men. 

" Ye look somethin' sheared, Hugh Morris," said Joe, 
observing that the look-out was gazing over the bow with 
an expression of alarm. 

" Breakers ahead ! " roared the man at that moment — 
" port ! — hard-a-port ! " 

The order was sharply repeated, and promptly obeyed, 
and the vessel came round in time to escape destruction 
on a ledge of rocks over which the water was foaming 
furiously. 

Instantly Malines went forward and began to give 
hurried directions to the steersman. The danger was 
avoided, though the escape was narrow, and the low rocks 
were seen passing astern, while the sea ahead seemed to 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 89 

be free from obstruction, as far, at least, as the profound 
darkness permitted them to see. 

"They'll be all drowned like rats in a hole if we strike," 
muttered the sailor, Hugh Morris, as if speaking to himself. 

" Not if I can help it," said Joe Binney, who overheard 
the remark. 

As he spoke he went to the little companion hatch, or 
door to the fore-cabin, and tried to open it, but could not. 

" Here, David," he cried, " lend a hand.'* 

Applying their united strength — with some assistance 
from Teddy Malone, and earnest encouragement from 
Mrs. Lynch — they succeeded in bursting open the hatch. 

" Hallo ! there," shouted Joe, in a voice that would 
have been creditable to a boatswain, " come on deck if ye 
don't want to be drownded." 

" Hooroo ! " added Malone, " we 're goin' to the bottom I 
Look alive wid ye.'* 

"Ay, an' bring up the childers," yelled Mrs. Lynch. 
" Don't lave wan o' thim below." 

Of course, the poor emigrants were not slow to obey 
these startling orders. 

The state of affairs was so serious that Malines either 
did not see or did not care for what was going on. He 
stood on the forecastle looking out intently ahead. 

" Land on the starboard beam ! " shouted Morris 

suddenly. 

G 



90 THE ISLAND QUEElT:' 

The mate was on the point of giving an order to the 
steersman when he observed land looming on the port 
bow. Instantly he saw that all hoj^ was over. They 
were steering to inevitable destruction between two ledges 
of rock ! What he would have done in the circumstances 
no one can tell, because before he had time to act the 
vessel struck with great violence, and the terror-stricken 
passengers gave vent to that appalling cry of fear which 
had so suddenly aroused Dominick Kigonda and his 
brother. 

As the vessel remained hard and fast, with her bow 
thrust high on the rocks, the emigrants and crew found a 
partial refuge from the violence of the waves on the fore- 
castle. Hence the first wild shriek of fear was not 
repeated. In a few minutes, however, a wave of greater 
size than usual came rushing towards the vessel. Fortu- 
nately, most of the emigrants failed to realise the danger, 
but the seamen were fully alive to it. 

"It's all over with us," exclaimed the mate, in a sort 
of reckless despair. But he was wrong. The great billow, 
which he expected would dash the vessel in pieces — and 
which, in nine cases out of ten, would have done so — 
lifted the wreck so high as to carry it almost completely 
over the ledge on which it had struck, leaving the stern 
high on the rocks, while the bow was plunged into the 
partly-protected water on the other side. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 91 

The sudden descent of the forecastle induced the belief 
in many of the emigrants* minds that they were about to 
go headlong to the bottom, and another cry of terror arose ; 
but when they found that their place of refuge sank no 
farther than to a level with the water, most of them took 
heart again, and began to scramble up to the quarter-deck 
as hastily as they had before scrambled to the forecastle. 

" Something like land ahead," observed Hugh Morris, 
who stood close to the mate. 

" I don't see it," returned the latter, gruffly, for he was 
jealous of the influence that Morris had over the crew, 
and, during the whole voyage, had treated him harshly, 

" It may be there, although you don't see it," retcrced 
Hugh, with a feeling of scorn, which he made no attempt 
to conceal. 

" Sure I sees somethin' movin' on the wather," exclaimed 
!Mrs. Lynch, who, during the occurrences just described, 
had held on to a belaying pin with the tenacity and 
strength of an octopus. 

" It 's the wather movin' in yer own eye's, mother," said 
Malone, who stood beside his Amazonian countrywoman. 

At that moment a halloo was heard faintly in the 
distance, and, soon after, a raft was seen approaching, 
guided, apparently, by two men. 

" Eaft a-hoy ! Where dee hail from ?" shouted the 
mate. 



92 THE ISLAND QUEEN ; 

" From nowhere ! " came back promptly in a boy's 
ringing voice. 

" You've got on a coral reef/' shouted a powerful voice, 
which, we need scarcely say, was that of Dominick 
Eigonda, " but you 're safe enough now. The last wave 
has shoved you over into sheltered water. You 're in 
luck. We '11 soon put you on shore." 

" An island," I suppose, said Malines, as the raft came 
alongside. " What may be its name ? " 

" Got no name that I know of ; as far as I know it 's 
uninhabited, and, probably, unknown. Only three of us 
here — wrecked like yourselves. If you have boats, lower 
theai, and I'll pilot you to land." 

" Ohone ! " groaned Mrs. Lynch, in solemn despair, as 
she tried to see the speaker, whom darkness rendered 
almost invisible. " An unbeknown island, uninhabited 
by nobody. Boys, we are done for intirely. Didn't I 
say this would be the end of it when we made up our 
minds to go to say ?" 

No one seemed inclined just then to dispute the 
prophetic reminiscences of the widow, for the order had 
been given to get ready one of the boats. TurniDg to the 
emigrants, who were now clustering on the fore part of 
the vessel, Malines, condescending to adopt a more re- 
spectful tone, addressed them as follows : — 

" Now, let me tell you, one and all, that your voyage 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 93 

Las come to an end sooner than I expected. Our ship is 
wrecked, but we 're out of danger, and must go ashore an* 
ive as best we can, or die if we can*t live. Where we 
are, I don't know, and don't care, for it don't much matter. 
It 's an island, it seems, and three people who have been 
wrecked before us are all its population. As it is too dark 
to go ashore comfortably to-night, I would advise you to 
go below again, an' turn in till daylight. You may make 
your minds easy, for there 's no fear of our going to the 
bottom now." 

" Sure, an' you 're right there," murmured Teddy Malone, 
" for aren't we at the bottom already ?" 

"You may all do as you please, however," continued 
the mate, after a low-toned remark from one of the crew, 
" for my command has come to an end with the loss 
of the ship." 

When the mate ceased speaking, there was a brief 
pause, for the unfortunate emigrants had been so long 
accustomed to conform to the strict discipline of the ship 
that they felt like sheep suddenly deprived of a shepherd, 
or soldiers bereft of their officers when thus left to think 
for themselves. Then the self-sufficient and officious 
among them began to give advice, and to dispute noisily 
as to what they should do, so that in a few minutes their 
voices, mingling with the gale and the cries of terrified 
children, caused such a din that the strong spirit of the 



94 THE ISLAND QVEW : 

widow Lynch was stirred witliin her, inducing licr to raise 
her masculine voice in a shout that silenced nearly all the 
rest. 

" That 's right, mother," cried young Malonc, " howld ycr 
tongues, boys, and let 's hear what the widdy has to say. 
Isn't it herself has got the great mind — not to mintion 
the body?" 

" Shut your murpliy-trap, Teddy," retorted the widow, 
'' an' here 's what I 've got to say. "We must have only 
wan man to guide us if we are to get on at all. Too 
many cooks, ye knows well enough, is sure to spile the 
broth. Let Joe Binney speak, and the rest of ee howld 
yer tongues if ye can." 

Thus invited, modest Joe gave it as his opinion that 
the emigrants could not do better than follow the advice 
of Muster Malines — go below, turn in, and wait till day- 
licrht. He added further that he would count it a favour 
if Muster Malines would continue in command of the 
party, at le^st till they all got ashore. 

This little compliment to the man whom he had so 
recently defied had a softening influence on the mate, and 
the proposal was well received by the people, who, even 
during the few minutes of anarchy which had prevailed, 
were led to appreciate the value of order and government. 

" You are right, Binney," said the mate. " I would ad- 
vise you all, good people, to go below and rest as well as 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHEIIE. 95 

you can, wliile I, and those wlio choose to act under me, 
will go ashore and make the best possible arrangements 
for your landing in the morning." 

" Now, why don't ye do what ye'er towld at wanst ? " 
cried Mrs. Lynch, who had evidently made up her mind 
that the reins of government w^ere not to be entirely given 
up to the mate. " It 's not wdshin', are ye, to get wetter 
than ye are, a'ready ? Go below, ivery wan of ye." 

Like a meek flock, the women and children obeyed the 
mandate, being absolutely in bodily fear of the woman, 
while most of the men followed them with a laugh or a 
little chaff, according to temperament. -^ 

Before the latter had left the deck, Malines suggested 
that Joe Binney and his brother David should accompany 
him on shore that night, to represent the emigrants, as it 
were, and assist him in the proposed arrangements. 

" Besides," he added, " there is just the possibility that 
we may fall into a trap. We know nothing about the 
man who has come off to us except his voice, so that it 
will be wise to land with some of our best men armed." 

Of course the brothers had no objection to this plan 
and accordingly they, with the mate and four of the ship's 
crew — all armed with cutlasses and pistols — got into one 
of the boats and were lowered into the water on the lee 
side of the vessel, where Dominick and Otto had been 
quietly awaiting the end of the foregoing discussions. 



«' 



,/• 



96 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

In a few minutes they reached the shore, and then 
Do'minick shook hands with them, and welcomed them to 
the islands, " which," he said, " we have named ' Eefuge 
Islands/ " 

" Eun up to the cave, Otto," he whispered, while the 
party was engaged in drawing up the boat. " Stir up 
the fire and rouse Pina, — tell her to prepare to receive 
company." 

" She '11 be as much puzzled as if I told her to prepare 
to receive cavalry," muttered the boy as he ran up to the 
cave. 

" Hallo ! Pina ! rouse up, old girl," he shouted, bursting 
into the cave, and falling on his knees before the embers 
of the fire, which he soon blew up into a flame. " I say, 
Pina ! hallo ! Pina ! P-i-i-i-i-ina ! ** . 

" Dear me, Otto, what is wrong ? " asked the sleepy 
voice of Pauline from behind her screen. 

" Wrong ? " cried her brother, " nothing 's wrong — that 
is, everything 's wrong ; but don't be afraid, old girl, all 's 
right. Dress as fast as you can, and prepare for company !" 

"What do you mean?" cried the girl, by that time 
thoroughly aroused, and somewhat alarmed by Otto's 
words and excitement. 

" Can't explain. No time. Get up, make yourself 
presentable, and come out of your den." 

As he spoke Pauline lifted the curtain door of her 






A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 97 " 

apartment and stepped into the outer cave, which was by 
that time all aglow with the ruddy blaze. 

" Do you call yourself presentable ?" asked Otto, laugh- 
ing ; " why your hair is raised like the back of a wild cat." 

It is only right to say that the boy did not do his sister 
justice. An old shawl thrown hastily on, and descending 
in confused folds around her slight, graceful figure, in- 
vested her with an air of classic simplicity, while her 
pretty face, surrounded by a wealth of dishevelled but 
beautiful hair, was suggestive of something very much the 
reverse of a wild cat. 

"Are you prepared, sister, for a stunning surprise?" 
said Otto, quickly, for he heard the approaching footsteps 
of the party. 

" I'm prepared for anything," said Pauline, her lustrous 
eyes and her little mouth opening simultaneously, for she 
also heard the numerous footfalls outside. 

**'Tis well!" cried Otto, starting up, and assuming a 
heroic attitude as he waved his right hand toward the 
door of the cavern, " no time to explain. Enter "Dominick, 
with band of robbers, headed by their captain, amid 
ehrieking wind, forked lightning, and peals of thunder !" 

As he spoke, Pauline, despite her surprise, could 
scarcely refrain from laughter, for Otto's words were 
fulfilled almost to the letter. Amid a strife of elements 
that caused their frail erections to tremble, the little door 



98 THE ISLAND QTJEE^T i 

burst open, and Dominick, stooping low to save his head, 
entered. He was followed by the gaunt, dark form of 
Malines, who, in rough garments and long fishermen's 
boots, with pistols in belt and cutlass .by his side, was 
a particularly good representative of a robber-captain. 
Following him came the still more gigantic Joe Binney, 
and his equally huge brother David, after which trooped 
in the boat's crew one by one. 

As each man entered he stood stock still — dumb, 
petrified with astonishment — as he gazed, saucer-eyed, at 
Pauline. Bereft of speech and motion, she returned the 
gaze with interest ! 

Oh ! it was a rare treat to Otto ! Ilis little bosom 
heaved with delight as he watched the shipwrecked men 
enter one after another and become petrefactions ! Some 
of the sailors even dropped their lower jaws with wonder. 

Dominick, who, in the bustle of action, had not thought 
of the surprise in store for his visitors, burst into a hearty 
fit of laughter. 

" It was well got up. Otto," he said at last. 

" No, it wasn't, Dom. I do assure you it was not got 
up at all, but came about in the most natural manner." 

" Well, got up or not," returned Dominick, " here you 
are, friends, in what we have styled our golden cave, and 
this is my sister Pauline — allow me to introduce you, 
Pina, to i)art of a shipwrecked crew." 




" As EACH 1LA.N EKTERED HE STOOD STOCK STILL— DUME."— Page 98, 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 101 

The youth's laughter, and the introduction which fol- 
lowed, seemed to disenchant the mariners, who, recover- 
ing self-possession with a deep sigh, became sheepish in 
bearing, and seemed inclined to beat % retreat^ ' but . oui^ 
heroine quickly put them at their ease. With a natural 
tact and grace of manner which had the appearance of, 
but was not meant for, dignity, she advanced and offered her 
little hand to Malines, who seemed to fear that he might 
crush it unintentionally, so slight was the shake he gave it. 

"You are heartily welcome to our cavern," she said. 
" I 'm so grieved to hear that you have been wrecked." 

"Don't mention it. Miss. ISTot worth speaking of, I 
assure you ; we 're quite used to it," replied Malines, not 
knowing very well what he said. 

The ice, however, was broken. From this point all 
went on, as Otto said, swimmingly. The mate began to 
relate the circumstances of the recent wreck, while Pauline 
and Otto spread the remains of their supper before the 
men, and set about roasting the fowls that had been 
intended for the morrow's breakfast. 

Before long the gale began to abate, and the sailors went 
out with Dominick to select a spot on which the emi- 
grants might encamp, being aided in this work by a 
struggling and fitful moonlight. After that Malines went 
back with his party to the ship, and Dominick returned 
with Otto to court slumber in the golden cave. 

J 



102 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 



CHAPTEE VI. 

SHIP^VEECKED EMIGRANTS AND HORRIFIED CONSPIRATORS. 

rjlHE scene which presented itself on the morning aftei 
the storm is not easily described, and the change to 
the trio who had up to that time lived so peacefully on 
Eefuge Islands' Eeef was so great that they found it 
difficult at first to believe it was other than a dream. 

On awaking, indeed, Otto saluted his brother with the 
exclamation — 

" Dom, I've had such a comical dream !" 

" Indeed, my boy," said Dominick, " I fear it was no 
dream, but a reality." 

At this Otto suddenly sprang up, and ran out to relieve 
his mind on the point. A few seconds sufficed. On 
clearing the bushes he beheld the new wreck lying not 
far from the old one, and saw from the crowds of people 
who were being put into the boats that the emigrant ship 
had been no mere creature of his imagination. It was 
evident that the boat which had just quitted the vessel's 
side contained the first band of emigrants, for the only 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 103 

people yet landed were a few men, who busied themselves 
in putting up a rude, shelter for the women and children^ 
and in kindling fires for the preparation of breakfast on a 
little mound between two and three hundred yards from 
the golden cave. 

By that time the storm had blown itself out, and the 
rising sun was mounting into a cloudless blue sky, and 
covering the sea with dazzling ripples, which looked as if 
the very water were laughing with joy at the sudden 
change from darkness and fury to light and peace. 

Conspicuous among those who worked on shore was 
the gigantic form of Joe Binney. Considering him an old 
acquaintance, Otto ran up to him and shook hands. 

" How many emigrants are there of you ? " he asked. 

"Three hundred, more or less, master, but I ain't 
rightly sure ; there 's such a many that it 's difficult to 
count 'em when they are all a-movin' to and fro." 

" Here, Joe, catch hold o' this post, an' keep it steady 
till I make it fast," said Hugh Morris, the seaman who 
has been described as one of the most turbulent amon^ 
the men. 

While Joe assisted in the erection of the canvas booth 
or shelter, he gave Otto a good deal of information regard- 
ing the vessel, the emigrants, the crew, and the misunder- 
standings which had occurred previous to the captain's 
death. 



104 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

"It's well for one man that we've bin wrecked, any- 
how," remarked Morris, stepping back with an artistic air 
to survey his handiwork. 

" You mean the young doctor," said Joe. 

" That 's who I mean," returned Morris. " Doctor 
John Marsh. He's the only man in the ship that's 
worth his salt, but I fear he 's a doomed man." 

" I hope not, Hugh, though there are one or two men 
on board worth more than their salt," said Joe, with a 
peculiar smile, as he returned to the care of a large kettle 
of beans from which the sailor had called him. 

On Otto inquiring what was the matter with the 
doctor, Joe Binney explained — 

" He 's been ill a'most since we left England, owin' to 
a fall he had in tryin' to save one o' the child'n as was 
tumblin' down the after-hatch. He saved the child, but 
broke one or two of his own ribs, an' the broken ends 
must have damaged his lungs, for, ever since, he's bin 
spittin' blood an' wearin' away, till we can hardly believe 
he 's the same stout, hearty, active young feller that came 
aboord at Gravesend. Spite of his hurt, he 's bin goin' 
among us quite cheerful-like, doin' the best he -could for 
the sick ; but, as Morris says, he looks like a doomed 
man. P'r'aps gittin' ashore may do him good. You see, 
bein* the only doctor in the ship, he couldn't attend to 
hisself as well as might be, mayhap." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 105 

While Joe and Otto were conversing, the first boatload- 
of emigrants landed, consisting chiefly of women and 
children. Dr. Marsh was also among them, in order that, 
as he said with quiet pleasantry, he might attend to the 
sanitary arrangements of the camp in the new land, 
though all who saw him quit the wreck were under the 
sorrowful impression that the new land would prove to 
be in his case a last resting-place. 

There was something peculiarly attractive in the manly, 
handsome face of this young disciple of ^sculapius, worn 
as it was by long sickness and suffering, and Otto fell in 
love with him at first sight. 

There can be no doubt that some human beings are so 
constituted as to powerfully attract others by their mere 
physical conformation and expression, without reference 
to character or conduct, — indeed, before character or con- 
duct can possibly be known. And when this peculiar 
conformation and expression is coupled with delicacy of 
health, and obvious suffering, the attractive influence be- 
comes irresistible. Let us thank God that such is the 
case. Blind, unreasoning affection is a grand foundation 
on which to build a mighty superstructure of good offices, 
kindly acts, and tender feelings, mingled, it may be, with 
loving forbearance, and occasional suffering, which shall 
be good to the souls of the lover, as well as the loved 

one. 

H 



106 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

Anyhow, when Otto saw Dr. Marsh lielped, almost 
lifted, out of the boat ; observed him give a pitiful little 
smile, and heard him utter some mild j)leasantry to those 
who assisted him, he experienced a gush of feeling such 
as had never before inflated his reckless little bosom, and 
something like water — to his great astonishment — caused 
interference with his vision. 

Eunning forward just as the widow Lynch was offici- 
ously thrusting her warm-hearted attentions on the in- 

If 
valid, he accosted the doctor, and offered to escort him 

to the golden cave. 

And we may here inform the reader that the involun- 
tary affection of our little hero met with a suitable return, 
for Dr. Marsh also fell in love with Otto at first sight. 
His feelings, however, were strongly mingled with surprise. 

"My boy," he said, with painfully wide-open eyes, 
" from what part of the sky have you dropt ? " 

"Well, not being a falling star or a rocket-stick, I 
cannot claim such high descent, — but hasn't the mate 
told you about us ? " returned Otto. 

Here widow Lynch broke in with " Towld him aboutr 
you ? Av course he hasn't. He don't throuble his hid 
to tell much to any wan ; an*, sure, wasn't the doctor 
slaapin' whin he returned aboord i' the night, an' wasn't 
I nursin' of 'im, and dee think any wan could git at 'im 
widout my Lve ? " 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHEliE. 107 

Otto thought that certainly no one could easily accom- 
plish that feat, and was about to say so, when Dr. Marsh 
said remonstratively — 

" Now, my dear widow Lynch, do leave me to the care 
of this new friend, who, I am sure, is quite able to assist 
me, and do you go and look after these poor women and 
children. They are quite helpless without your aid. 
Look ! your favourite Brown-eyes will be in the water if 
you don't run." 

The child of a poor widow, which had been styled 
Brown-eyes by the doctor because of its gorgeous optics, 
was indeed on the point of taking an involuntary bath as 
he spoke. Mrs. Lynch, seeing the danger, rushed tumul- 
tuously to the rescue, leaving the doctor to Otto's care. 

" Don't let me lean too heavily on you," he said, look- 
ing down ; " I 'm big-boned, you see, and long-legged, 
though rather thin." 

" Pooh 1 " said Otto, looking up, " you 're as light as a 
feather, and I 'm as strong as a horse, — a little horse, at 
least. You 'd better not go to the camp yet, they are not 
ready for you, and that sweet little delicate creature you 
call widow Lynch is quite able to manage them all. 
Come up with me to the cave. But has nobody said a 
vi'ord about us V 

"Not a soul. As the widow told you, I was asleep 
when the mate returned to the wreck. Indeed, it is not 



108 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

very long since I awoke. I did hear some mention in 
passing of a few people being on the island, but I thought 
they referred to savages." 

" Perhaps they were not far wrong/' said Otto, with a 
laugh. ** I do feel pretty savage sometimes, and Domi- 
nick is awful when he is roused ; but we can't count 
Pauline anions: the savac^es." 

"Dominick! Pauline!" exclaimed the doctor. "My 
good fellow, explain yourself, and let us sit down on this 
bank while you do so. I 'm so stupidly weak that walk- 
ing only a few yards knocks me up." 

" Well, only two or three yards further will bring you 
to our cave, which is just beyond that cluster of bushes, 
but it may be as well to enlighten you a little before 
introducing you." 

In a few rapid sentences Otto explained their circum- 
stances, and how they came to be there. lie told his 
brief tale in sympathetic ears. 

" And your own name," asked the doctor, " is " 

" Otto Eigonda." 

"Well, Otto, my boy, you and I shall be friends; I 
know it — I feel it " 

" And I 'm sure of it," responded the enthusiastic boy, 
grasping the hand of the invalid, and shaking it almost 
too warmly. " But come, I want to present you to my 
sister. Dominick is already among the emigrants, for I 




"Pauline was on her knees." — Page 109. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HE]\IISPHErvE. 109 

\ 

saw liim leave the cave arid go down to the camp .when 
you were disputing with that female grampus." 

" Come, don't begin our friendship by speaking dis- 
respectfully of one of my best friends," said the doctor, 
rising; "but for widow Lynch's tender nursing I don't 
think I should be here now." 

" I '11 respect and reverence her henceforth and for 
ever," said Otto. " But here we are — this is the golden 
cave. Now you '11 have to stoop, because our door was 
made for short men like me — and for humble long ones 
like my brother." 

" I '11 try to be a humble long one," said the doctor as 
he stooped and followed Otto into the cave. 

Pauline was on her knees in front of the fire, with her 
back to the door, as they entered. She was stooping low 
and blowing at the flariaes vigorously. 
■ " Otto ! " she exclaimed, without looking round, 
" this fire will break my heart. It won't light ! " 

" More company, Pina," said her brother. 

Pauline sprang up and turned round with flushed 
countenance and disordered hair; and again Otto had the 
ineffable delight of seeing human beings suddenly reduced 
to that condition which is variously described as being 
" stunned," " thunderstruck," " petrified/' and " struck all 
of a heap " with surprise. 

Pauline was the first to recover self-possession. 



X 



110 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" Eeally, Otto, it is too bad of you to take one by 
surprise so. Excuse me, sir, — no doubt you are one of 
-the unfortunates who have been wrecked. I have much 
pleasure in offering you the hospitality of our humble 
home ! " 

Pauline spoke at first half jestingly, but when she 
looked full at the thin, worn countenance of the youth who 
stood speechless before her, she forgot surprise and every- 
thing else in a feeling of pity. 

"But you have been ill," she continued, sympatheti- 
cally ; " this wreck must have — pray sit down." 

She placed a little stool for her visitor beside the fire. 

If Dr. John Marsh had spoken the words that sprang 
to his lips he would have begun with " Angelic creature," 
but he suppressed his feelings and only stammered — 

" Your b-brother, ]\liss Eigonda, must have a taste for 
taking people by surprise, for he^did not tell me that — 
that — I — I mean he did not prepare me for — for — you are 
right, I think I had better sit down, for I have, as you 
perceive, been very ill, and am rather weak, and — and in 
the circumstances such an unexpected — a " 

At this critical moment Dominick fortunately entered 
the cave and rescued the doctor from the quicksand in 
which he was floundering. 

"Oh! you must be the very man I want," he said, 
grasping his visitor by the hand. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. Ill 

*' That is strange/' returned the doctor, with a languid 
smile, " seeing that you have never met me before." 

" True, my good sir ; nevertheless I may venture to say 
that I know you well, for there 's a termagant of an Irish 
woman down at the camp going about wringing her 
hands, shouting out your good qualities in the most 
pathetic tones, and giving nobody a moment's peace 
because she does not know what has become of you. 
Having a suspicion that my brother must have found you 
and brought you here, I came to see. But pray, may I 
ask your name, for the Irish woman only describes you 
as ' Doctor, dear ! ' " 

"Allow me to introduce him," cried Otto, ''as an old 
friend of mine — Dr. Marsh." 

Dominick looked at his brother in surprise. 

" Otto is right," said the doctor, with a laugh, " at least 
if feeling may be permitted to do duty for time in gauging 
the friendship." 

"Well, Dr. Marsh, we are happy to make your 
acquaintance, despite the sadness of the circumstances," 
said Dominick, " and will do all we can for you and your 
friends ; meanwhile, may I ask you to come to the camp 
and relieve the mind of your worshipper, for I can 
scarcely call her less." 

Poor Dr. Marsh, feeling greatly exhausted by excite- 
ment as much as by exertion, was on the point of excusing 



112 THE ISLAND QUEEN . 

himself and begging liis host to fetch the widow np to the 
cave, when he was saved the trouble by the widow her- 
self, whose voice was just then heard outside. 

"What's that yer sayin', Joe?" she exclaimed in a 
remoDstrative tone, " ye seed 'im go into that rabbit-hole ? 
JSTever ! Don't tell me ! Arrah ! it 's on his hands an* 
knees he 'd have to do it/' 

The voice which replied was pitched in a much deeper 
and softer key, but it was heard distinctly to say, " Ay, 
widdy Lynch, that 's tlie door I seed him an' a boy go 
through ; so ye 'd better rap at it an' inquire." 

" Faix, an' that 's jist what I '11 do, though I don't half 
belave ye." 

She was about to apply her large red knuckles to the 
door in question when her intention was frustrated and 
her doubts were scattered by the door opening and 
Dominick presenting himself. 

" Come in, Mrs. Lynch, come in. Your doctor is here, 
alive and well." 

" Well, is it — ah ! I wish he was ! Are ye there, 
darlin'?" 

" Yes, yes," came from within, in a laughing voice. 
"Here I am, Mrs. Lynch, all right and comfortable. 
Come in." 

Being excessively tall, the widow was obliged, like 
others, to stoop to enter ; but being also excessively broad, 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 113 

she only got her head and shoulders through the doorway, 
and then, unlike others, she stuck fast. By dint, however, 
of a good pull from Dominick and a gentle push from 
Joe, she was got inside without quite carrying away the 
structure which the gale of the preceding night had spared. 

" Och ! 'tis a quare place intirely, and there is some 
disadvantage in bein' big — thank ye kindly, sir — but on 
the whole " 

She got no further, for at that moment her sharp little 
grey eyes fell on Pauline, and once again Otto's heart was 
stirred to its profoundest depths by the expressive glare 
that ensued. Indeed, Dominick and Marsh were equally 
affected, and could not help laughing. 

" Ha ! ye may laugh," said the widow, with profound 
solemnity, "but if it's not dramin' I am, what Father 
Maccrrath savs about frhosts is true, and " 

" I hope you don't take mc for a ghost, Mrs. Lynch," 
said Pauline, stepping forward with a kindly smile and 
holdinji out her hand. 

" No, cushla ! I don't," returned the widow, accepting 
the hand tenderly. " Sure it 's more like a ghost the 
doctur is, in spite of his larfin*. But wonders '11 niver 
cease. I '11 lave 'im wid an aisy mind, for he 's in good 
hands. Now, Joe, clear out o' the door, like a good man, 
an' let me through. They '11 be wantin' me at the camp. 
A good haul, Joe, I 'm tough ; no fear o' me comin' to 



11^ THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

pieces. Och ! but it 's a poor cabin. An Irish pig 
wouldn't thank ye for it.'* 

Murmuring similar uncomplimentary remarks, mingled 
with expressions of surprise, the voice of the woman 
gradually died away, and the people in the golden cave 
were left to discuss their situation and form hasty plans 
for the present emergency. 

At first, of course, they could do little else than make 
each other partially acquainted with the circumstances 
which had so strangely thrown them together, but 
Dominick soon put an end to this desultory talk. 

" You see, it will take all our time," he said, " between 
this and sunset to get the emigrants comfortably under 
canvas, or some sort of shelter." 

" True," assented Dr. Marsh, " and it would never do 
with so many women and children, some of whom are on 
the sick list, to leave them to the risk of exposure to 
another storm like that which has just passed. Is your 
island subject to such ?" 

" By no means," " answered Dominick. " It has a 
splendid climate. This gale is quite exceptional. Never- 
theless, we cannot tell when the next may burst on us. 
Come, Otto, you and I will go down to the camp. Now, 
Dr. Marsh, you must remain here. I can see, without 
being told, that you are quite unfit to help us. I know 
that it is hard to be condemned to inaction when all 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 115 

around are busy, but reflect how many patients you have 
solemnly warned that their recovery would depend on 
implicit obedience to the doctor's orders ! Divide yourself 
in two, now, and, as a doctor, give yourself strict orders to 
remain quiet." 

" H'm ! Gladly would I divide myself," was the 
doctor's reply, " if while I left the patient half to act the 
invalid, I could take the impatient half down to the 
camp to aid you. But I submit. The days of my once 
boasted strength are gone. I feel more helpless than a 
mouse." 

There was something quite pitiful in- the half-humor- 
ous look and the weary sigh with which the poor youth 
concluded his remarks, and Otto was so touched that he 
suddenly suggested the propriety of his staying behind 
and taking care of him. 

" Why, you conceited creature," cried Dominick, " of 
what use jDould you be ? Besides, don't you think that 
Pina is a sufficiently good nurse ?" 

Otto humbly admitted that she was. 

Dr. Marsh, glancing at her pretty face, on which at the 
moment there beamed an expression of deep sympathy, 
also admitted that she was ; but, being a man of compara- 
tively few words, he said nothing. 

It was a busy day for Dominick and his brother, l^ot 
only had they to counsel and advise with the unfortunate 



116 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

emigrants as to the best position for the temporary 
encampment, with reference to wood and water, as well 
as to assist with their own hands in the erection of tents 
made of torn sails and huts and booths composed of broken 
planks and reeds, but they had to answer innumerable 
questions from the inquisitive as to their own history, 
from the anxious as to the probabilities of deliver- 
ance, from the practical as to the resources of the islands, 
and from the idiotic as to everything in general and 
nothiug in particular. In addition to which they had to 
encourage the timid, to correct the mistaken, and to 
remonstrate with or resist the obstinate ; also to romp 
a little with the children as they recovered their spirits, 
quiet the babies as they recovered their powers of lung, 
and do a little amateur doctoriog for the sick in the 
absence of the medical man. 

In all these varied occupations they were much aided 
by the widow Lynch, who, instead of proving to be, as 
they had expected, a troublesome termagant, turned out to 
be a soft-hearted, kindly, enthusiastic, sympathetic woman, 
with a highly uneducated, unbalanced mind, a powerfully 
constituted and masculine frame, and "a will of her own." 
In this last particular she did not differ much from the 
rest of the human species, but she was afflicted with an 
unusually strong desire to assert it. 

Very like Mrs. Lynch in the matters of kindly soft- 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHEKN IIEMISPHEKE. 117 

hoartedncss and sympathy was Mrs. Welsli — a poor, 
gentle, delicate Englishwoman, the wife of a great hulk- 
ing cross-grained fellow named Abel, who was a carpenter 
by trade and an idler by preference. Mrs. Welsh was 
particularly good as a sick-nurse and a cook, in which 
capacities she made herself extremely useful. 

About midday, Mrs. Welsh having prepared a glorious 
though simple meal for her section of the emigrant band, 
and the other sections having been ministered to more 
or less successfully by their more or less capable cooks, 
Dominick and Otto went up to the golden cave to dinner, 
which they well knew the faithful Pauline would have 
ready waiting for them. 

" What a day we have had, to be sure ! " said Dominick 
as they walked along ; " and I 'm as hungry as a 
kangaroo." 

Without noticing the unreasonableness of supposing 
that long-legged creature to be the hungriest of animals. 
Otto declared that he was in the same condition, " if not 



more so." 



On opening the door they were checked by the expres- 
sion of Pauline's face, the speaking eyes of which, and 
the silent mouth, were concentrated into an unmistakable 
"hush!" — which was emphasised by a significant fore- 
finger. 

" What's wrong ?" whispered Dominick, anxiously. 



118 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" Sleeping," murmured Pauline — she was too good a 
nurse to whisper — pointing to the invalid, who, overcome 
with the night's exposure and the morning's excitement, 
had fallen into a profound slumber on Otto's humble 
couch. 

This was a rather severe and unexpected trial to Otto, 
who had come up to the cave brimming over with camp 
news for Pauline's benefit. He felt that it was next to 
impossible to relate in a whisper all the doings and say- 
ings, comical and otherwise, that he had seen and heard 
that day. To eat his dinner and say nothing seemed 
equally impossible. To awaken the wearied sleeper was 
out of the question. However, there was nothing for it 
but to address himself to the suppression of his feelings. 
Probably it was good for him to be thus self- disciplined ; 
certainly it was painful 

He suffered chiefly at the top of the nose — inside 
somewhere behind his eyes— that being the part of the 
safety-valve where bursts of laughter were checked ; and 
more than once, while engaged in a whispering com- 
mentary on the amiable widow Lynch, the convulsions 
within bade fair to blow the nasal organ off his face 
altogether. Laughter is catching. Pauline and Dominick 
ere long began to wish that Otto would hold his tongue. 
At last, some eccentricity of Joe Binney, or his brother, or 
Mrs. Lynch, we forget which, raised the pressure to such 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISniERE. 119 

a pitcli that the safety-valves of all three became in- 
efTective. They all exploded in udIsod, and poor Marsh 
was brought to consciousness, surprise, and a sitting 
posture at the same instant. 

" I 'm afraid," he said, rather sheepishly, " that I 've been 
sleeping." 

" You have, doctor, and a right good sleep you 've had," 
said Dominick, rising and placing a stool for the invalid. 
" We ought to apologise for disturbing you ; but come, sit 
down and dine. You must be hungry by this time." 

" Indeed I am. The land air seems to have had a 
powerful effect on me already." 

" Truly it must," remarked Pauline, " else you could not 
have fallen asleep in the very middle of my glowing 
description of our island home." 

" Did I really do that ?" said the doctor, with an air of 
self-reproach. 

" Indeed you did ; but in the circumstances you are to 
be excused." 

" And I hope," added Dominick, " that you '11 have 
many a good sleep in our golden cave." 

" Golden cave, indeed," echoed the invalid, in thought, 

for his mind was too much taken up just then with 

Pauline to find vent in speech. " A golden cave it will 

be to me for evermore !" 

It is of no use mincing the matter ; Dr. John Marsh, 

I 



120 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

after being regarded by his friends at home as hopelessly 
unimpressible — iu short, an absolute woman-hater — ^liad 
found his fate on a desolate isle of the Southern seas. He 
had fallen — nay, let us be just — had jumped over head and 
ears in love with Pauline Eiiionda ! Dr. Marsh was no 
sentimental die-away noodle who, half-ashamed, half- 
proud of his condition, displays it to the semi-contemptu- 
ous world. No ; after disbelieving for many years in the 
power of woman to subdue him, he suddenly and man- 
fully gave in — sprang up high into the air, spiritually, and 
so to speak, turning a sharp somersault, went headlong 
down deep into the flood, without the slightest intention 
of ever again returning to the surface. 

But of this mighty upheaval and overturning of his 
sentiments he betrayed no symptom whatever, excepting 
two bright spots — one on either cheek^-which might 
easily have been mistaken for the effects of weakness, or 
recent excitement, or bad health, or returning hunger. 
Calmly he set to work on the viands before him with un- 
usual appetite, conversing earnestly, meanwhile, with 
Dominick and Otto on the gravity of their situation, 
and bestowing no more attention upon Pauline than was 
barely consistent with good breeding, insomuch that that 
pretty young creature began to feel somewhat aggrieved. 
Considering all the care she had so recently bestowed 
on him, she came to the conclusion, in short, that he was 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISPIIERE. 121 

by no means as polite as at first she had supposed him 
to be. 

Ey degrees the conversation about the present began 
to give place to discussions as to tlie future, and when 
Dominick and Otto returned for their evening meal at 
sunset, bringing with them Mr. Malines, the mate, and 
Joe Binney and his brother David and Hugh Morris as 
being representative men of the emigrants and ship's crew, 
the meeting resolved itself into a regular debating society. 
At this point Pauline deserted them and went down to 
the camp to cultivate the acquaintance of the widow 
Lynch, Mrs. Welsh, and the other female and infantine 
members of the wTecked party. 

" For my part," said Malines, " I shall take one o' the 
boats, launch it in the lagoon, and go over to the big 
island, follow me who may, for it is clear that there 's not 
room for us all on this strip of sand." 

" I don't see that," objected Hugh Morris. "Seems to 
me as there 's space enough for all of us, if we 're not too 
greedy." 

" That shows ye know^s nothin' about land, Hugh," said 
Joe Binney. *' What 's of it here is not only too little, 
but too sandv. I votes for the bier island." 

" So does I," said David Binney. " Big Island for 



me." 



Thus, incidentally, was the large island named. 



122 THE ISLAND QUEEN: 

" But," said Hugh, still objecting, " it ^yon't be half so 
convenient to git things out o' the wreck as where we are." 

" Pooh ! that 's nothing," said Malines. " It won't cost 
us much trouble to carry all we want across a spit of 
sand." 

Seeing that the two men were getting angry with each 
other, Dominick interposed by blandly stating that he 
knew well the capabilities of the spot on which they were 
encamped, and he was sure that such a party would require 
more ground if they meant to settle on it. 

" Well now, master," observed Joe, with a half-laugh, 
" we don't 'zactly mean for to settle on it, but here we be, 
an' here we must be, till a ship takes us off, an' we can't 
afford to starve, ee know, so we '11 just plough the land an' 
plant our seed, an' hope for good weather an' heavy crops ; 
so I says Big Island !" 

"An' so says I — Big Island for ever!" repeated his 
brother David. 

After a good deal more talk and altercation this was 
finally agreed to, and the meeting dissolved itself. 

That night, at the darkest hour, another meetingr was 
held in the darkest spot that could be found near the 
camp. It chanced, unknown to the meeting, to be the 
burial-ground at first discovered by the Eigondas. 

Unwittingly, for it was very dark, Hugh Morris seated 
himself on one of the old graves, and about thirty like- 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPIIERE. 123 

minded men gathered round him. Little did they 
know that Otto was one of the party ! Our little 
hero, being sharp eyed and eared, had seen and overheard 
enough in the camp that day to induce him to watch 
Morris after he left the cave, and follow him to the 
rendezvous. 

" My lads," said Morris, " I 've done my best to keep 
them to the reef, but that blackguard Malines won't hear 
of it. He 's bent on takin' 'em all to the big island, so 
they 're sure to go, and we won't get the help o' the other 
men : but no matter ; wi' blocks an' tackle we '11 do it our- 
selves, so we can afford to remain quiet till our opportu- 
nity comes. I'm quite sure the ship lays in such a 
position that we can get her over the ledge into deep 
water, and so be able to draw round into the open sea, 
and then " 

" Hurrah for the black flag and the southern seas ! " 
cried one of the party. 

" No, no, Jabez Jenkins," said Morris, " we don't mean 
to be pirates ; only free rovers." 

" Hallo ! what 's this ? " exclaimed another of the party. 
" A cross, I do believe ! and this mound — why, it 's a 
grave !" 

" And here 's another one ! " said Jabez, in a hoarse 
whisper. " Seems to me we 've got into a cannibal 
churchyard, or " 



/ 



124 tllE ISLAND QtEEK : 

" Bo— — — — 00 ! " groaned Otto at that moment, in 
the most horribly sepulchral tone he could command. 

Nothing more was wanted. With one consent the 
conspirators leapt up and fled from the dreadful spot in a 
frenzy of unutterable consternation. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEKN HEMISPHERE. 125 



CHAPTER YIL 

TREATS OF BIG ISLAND— A GREAT FIGHT AND A ROYAL FA1\IILY. 

" "T^O^^I^ICK," said Otto, next morning, after having 
solemnly and somewhat mysteriously led his 
brother to the old burial-ground, '' would you believe me 
if I told you that last night, when you and the like of 
you were sound asleep, not to say snoring, I saw some 
twenty or thirty men fly from this spot like maniacs at 
the howling of a ghost ?" 

" No, I w^ould not believe you," answered Dominick, 
with a bland smile. 

" Would you not believe me if I told you that / was 
the ghost and that Hugh Morris was the ringleader of 
the cowards ?" 

" Come, Otto, be sensible and explain." 

Otto became sensible and explained. Thereupon 
Dominick became serious, and said " Oho !" To which 
Otto replied " Just so," after which they became medi^ 
tative. Then Dominick linked his arm in that of his 
little brother, and, leading him off to a well-known and 
sequestered walk, entered into an earnest confabulation. 



126 THE ISLAND QUEEN: 

With the details of that confabulation we will not 
trouble the reader. We will only repeat the concluding 
sentences. 

" Well, then, Dom, it 's agreed on, that we are to go on 
as if we knew nothing about this matter, and take no 
notice of it whatever to any one — not even to Pina." 

" Yes, Otto, that 's it. Of course I don't like to have 
any sort of secret from Pina, but it would be cruel in us 
to fill her mind with alarm for no good purpose. No — 
mum 's the word. Take no notice whatever. Morris 
may repent. Give him the benefit of the doubt, or the 
hope." 

" Very well, Dom, mum shall be the word." 

Having thus for the time being disposed of a trouble 
some subject, the brothers returned to the place where 
the emigrants were encamped. 

Here all was wild confusion and harmony. Lest this 
should appear contradictory, we must explain that the 
confusion w^as only physical, and addressed to the eye. 
The emigrants, who were busy as ants, had already 
disembarked large quantities of their goods, which were 
scattered about in various heaps between the landing- 
place and the encampment. The harmony, on the other 
hand, was mental and spiritual, for as yet there had been 
no time for conflicting interests to arise, and the people 
were all so busy that they had not leisure to disagree. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 127 

Besides, the weather being splendidly bright and warm 
was conducive to good-humour. It will be remembered 
also that Hudi Morris and his friends had resolved to 

o 

remain quiet for the present. Perhaps the effect of the 
ghostly visitation might have had some influence in 
restraining their turbulent spirits. 

At all events, be this as it may, when Dominick and 
Otto came upon the scene everything was progressing 
pleasantly. The male emigrants were running between 
the beach and the camp with heavy burdens on their 
shoulders. Tlie females were busy washing and mending 
garments, wliich stood sorely in need of their attention, 
or tending the sick and what Otto styled the infantry. 
The sailors were engaged, some in transporting goods 
from the wreck to the shore, others in piloting two of the 
large boats through the reef into the lagoon, and the 
larger children were romping joyously in the thickets 
and trying to climb the cocoanut trees, while the smaller 
fry were rolling helplessly on the sands — watched, more 
or less, by mothers and big sisters. 

Chief among those who piloted the large boats through 
the passage in the reef was Hugh Morris. He took 
careful observations and soundings as he went along, not 
that such were needed for the safety of the boats, but 
Hugh IMorris had an eye to the ultimate destiny of the 
ship 



128 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" You 're mighty particular, Morris," said Malines, with 
somethiDg of a sneer in his tone, when the former drew 
up his boat inside the reef beside the other boat. " One 
would think you were piloting a man-of-war through 
instead of a little boat." 

" What I was doin' is none o' your business, Malines," 
returned Hugh, sternly. " Your command ceased when 
you lost your ship, and I ain't agoin' to obey your orders ; 
no, nor take any of your cheek." 

" The emigrants chose to accept me as their commander, 
at least for the present," retorted Malines, fiercely. 

To this Hugh replied, with a laugh of scorn, that the 
emigrants might make a commander of the ship's monkey 
for all that he cared, the emigrants were not his masters, 
and he would do exactly as he pleased. 

As a number of his followers echoed the scornful 
laugh, Malines felt that he had not the power to carry 
thimrs with a hiqh hand. 

" Well, well," he returned, in a tone of quiet indifference, 
" we shall see. It is quite clear to every one with a grain 
of sense that people can't live comfortably under two 
masters ; the people will have to decide that matter for 
themselves before long." 

" Ay, that will they, master," remarked Joe Binney, in 
a low but significant voice. " Seems to me, however, 
that as we 're all agreed about goin' over to Big Island, 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEr.N IIEMISriIERE. 1 29 

we 'd better go about it an leave disputation till after- 
wards." 

Agreeing to this in silence, tbe men set about loading 
the boats for the first trip. 

Dominick and Otto standing on the beach had witnessed 
this altercation. 

" The seeds of much dissension and future trouble are 
there," remarked the former. 

" Unless we prevent the growth of the seed," said Otto. 

"True, but how that is to be done does not appear 
obvious at present. These men have strong wills and 
powerful frames, and each has a large following, I can 
see that. We must hope that among the emigrants there 
may be good and strong men enough to keep the crew in 
check." 

" Luckily two of the biggest and stoutest are also the 
most sensible," said Otto. 

" You mean the brothers Binney V* 

" Yes, Dom. They 're first-rate men, don't you think 

so r 

" Undoubtedly ; but very ignorant, and evidently un- 
accustomed to lead or command men." 

" What a pity," exclaimed the boy, with a flush of 
sudden inspiration, " that we couldn't make you king of 
the island ! You 're nearly as strong as the best of them, 
and much cleverer." 



130 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

Domiuick received this compliment with a laugh and 
a shake of the head. 

" No, my boy ; I am not nearly as strong as jNIalines 
or Morris, or the Binneys. Besides, you forget that ' the 
race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the 
strong ;' and as to cleverness, that does not consist in a 
superior education or a head crammed full of knowledge, 
but in the right and ready application of knowledge. 
No ; I have no ambition to be a king. But it won't do 
for us to stand here talking, else we shall be set down as 
idlers. Come, let us lend a helping hand." 

While the men were busy at the boats on the lagoon 
side of the reef, Pauline was winning golden opinions 
among the women at the camp by the hearty, unaffected 
way in which she went about making herself generally 
useful. blessed simplicity, how adorable art thou 
. in man and woman ! Self-forgetfulness was a salient 
point in Pauline's character, and, being conjoined with 
strong powers of sympathy, active good-will to man and 
beast, and more than the average of intellectual capacity, 
with an under-current of rippling fun, the girl's influence 
quickly made itself felt. 

Mrs. Lynch said she was a jewel, and that was extra- 
ordinary praise from the strapping widow, who seldom 
complimented her sex, whatever she may have felt. 
" Mrs. Welsh said she was a " dear, pritty creetur'," and 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 131 

lau^liter-lovinc' little Mvs. Nobbs, the wife of a jovial 
harum-scarum blacksmith, x^ronounced her a "perfect 
darling." As for the children, after one hour's acquaint- 
ance they adored her, and would have "bored her to 
death" had that been possible. What the men thought 
of her we cannot tell, for they spake not, but furtively 
stared at her in a sort of reverential amazement, and some 
of them, in a state of mild enthusiasm, gave murmured 
utterance to the sentence quoted above, " Blessed sim- 
plicity !" for Pauline Pdgonda was, at first, utterly unaware 
of the sensation she created. 

When the two boats were loaded down to the gunwales, 
a select party of men embarked and rowed them over the 
calm lagoon to Big Island. Of course they were well armed, 
for no one could tell what they might meet with there. 
Dominick and Otto were of the party, and, being regarded 
in some measure as owners of the soil, the former was 
tacitly recognised as leader on this their first visit. 

The distance they had to row was not more than a 
quarter of a mile, so the lagoon was soon crossed. The 
spot at which they landed was a beautiful little bay with 
bush-topped clifis on one side, a thicket of luxuriant 
plants on the other, and paliii groves rising to a moderate 
height behind. The little beach on which they ran the 
boats was of pure white sand, which induced one of them 
to name it Silver Bay. 



132 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

Jumping out, Dominick, with a dozen armed men, 
advanced into the bushes with caution. 

" Nothinf]^ to be seen here of either friends or foes," he 
said, halting. " I felt sure that we should find no one, 
and it is of no use taking so many of you from work ; 
therefore, lads, I would advise your returning to the 
boats and going to work at once. My little brother and 
I will ascend to the top of the cliff there, from which we 
will be able to see all the neighbouring country, and give 
you timely warning should any natives appear. Pile 
your rifles on the beach, so as to have them handy ; but 
you 've nothing to fear." 

In a few minutes Dominick and his brother, each 
carrying a rifle and cutlass supplied by the wrecked 
party, had mounted to the top of the neighbouring cliff, 
while the men returned to aid in unloading the boats. 

"What a splendid island!" exclaimed Otto, with 
intense delight, as, from the lofty outlook, they gazed 
down upon a scene of the richest beauty. From their 
position on the reef they had hitherto seen the island 
through the softening atmosphere of distance, like a 
rounded mass of verdure ; but in this case distance had 
not " lent enchantment to Uie view," for, now that they 
beheld it spread in all its luxuriance at their feet, like a 
verdant gem resting on the breast of ocean, it appeared 
infinitely more beautiful. Not only was the mind 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 133 

charmed by the varied details of grove and bay, thicket 
and grotto, but the eye was attracted irresistibly to the 
magnificent trees and shrubs which stood prominent in 
their individuality — such as the light and elegant aito- 
tree ; the stately apape, with its branchless trunk and 
light crown of pale green leaves, resembling those of the 
English ash ; the splendid tamanu, an evergreen, with its 
laurel-shaped leaves ; the imposing hutu-tree, with foliage 
resemblin^j the magnolia and its larcje white flowers, the 
petals of which are edged with bright pink ; — these and 
many others, with the feathery palm and several kinds of 
mimosa lining the seashore, presented a display of form 
and colour such as the brothers had not up to that time 
even dreamed of 

While Otto gazed in silent wonder and admiration, he 
was surprised to hear Dominick give vent to a sigh, and 
shake his head. 

" Dom ! " he said, remonstratively, " what do you mean 
by that ? " 

" I mean that the place is such a paradise that the 
emigrants won't want to leave it, and that will interfere 
with a little plan which had begun to form itself in my 
brain of late. I had been thinking that among so many 
tradesmen I should find men to help me to break up the 
wreck, and out of the materials to build a small vessel 
with which to leave the island — for, to tell you the truth, 



134 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

Otto, I have "begun to fear that this place lies so far out 
of the track of ships that we may be left on it for many 
years like the mutineers of Pitcairn Island." 

" Humph ! I 'm sorry you 're growing tired of it 
already," said Otto ; " I thought you had more o' the 
spirit of Eobinson Crusoe in you, Dom, and I never heard 
of the mutineers of Pitcairn Island ; but if " 

" What ! did you never hear of the mutineers of the 
Bounty V' 

" Never. Lfy education, you know, has been neglected." 

" Then I '11 tell you the story some time or other. It's 
too long to begin just now, but it beats that of your 
favourite Ptobinson out of sight in my opinion." 

Otto shook his head in grave unbelief. " That," he 
said, " is impossible. But as to this island proving so 
attractive, don't you think that such fellows as Hugh 
Morris and Malines will take care to prevent it becoming 
too much of a paradise ? " 

Dominick laughingly admitted that there was some- 
thing in that — and he was right. There was even more 
in that than he had imagined, for the party had not been 
a week in their new home when they began to differ as to 
the division of the island. That old, old story of mighty 
men desiring to take possession of the land and push 
their weaker brethren to the wall soon began to be re- 
enacted on this gem of the ocean, and bade fair to convert 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 1 35 

the paradise — like the celebrated Monte Carlo — into a 
magnificent pandemonium. 

At one of their stormy meetings, of which the settlers 
had many, the brothers Binney and Dominick were 
present. It was held on the shores of Silver Bay, where 
the first boat-loads had been discharged, and around 
which quite a village of rude huts had sprung up like 
mushrooms. From those disputatious assemblies most of 
the women absented themselves, but the widow Lynch 
always remained, holding herself in reserve for any 
emergency, for she was well aware that her opinion 
carried much weight with many of the party. 

" We 're a rough lot, and would need tight handlin'," 
whispered the little man named Eedding to Joe Binney, 
who sat on a bank beside him. 

"The handlin' will be tif^ht enoucrh before lonfj," 
returned Joe, with a decided little nod. "Listen, the 
worst o' the lot 's agoin' to spout." 

This last remark had reference to Malines, who had 
just risen to reply to a fiery little man named Buxley, a 
tailor by trade, who was possessed not only of good 
reasoning power but great animal courage, as he had 
proved on more than one occasion on the voyage out. 

"Friends," said the mate, "it's all very well for 
Buxley to talk about fair play, and equal rights, etc., but, 
I ask, would it be fair play to give each of us an equal 



136 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

portion of land, when it's quite clear that some — like 
Joe Binney there — could cultivate twice as much as his 
share, while a creature like Buxley " 

" No more a creature than yourself ! " shouted the little 
tailor. 

" could only work up half his lot — if even so 

much," continued the mate, regardless of the interruption. 

" Hear, hear ! " from those who sympathised with 
Malines. 

"An' what could you do with land?" demanded 
Buxley in a tone of scorn, " a man that's ploughed 
nothing but salt water all his life." 

This was greeted with a laugh and "That's so." 
" He 's only sowed wild oats as yet." " Pitch into him, 
Buckie." 

Malines was fast losing temper under the little man's 
caustic remarks, but succeeded in restraining himself, and 
went on : — 

" It 's quite plain that the island is too small to let 
every man have an equal bit of land, so I propose that it 
should be divided among those who have strength and 
knowledge to work it, and " 

" You ain't one o' them," shouted the irate tailor. 

"Come, come, Buxley — let him speak," said Joe 
Binney, " fair play, ye know. That 's what you sticks up 
for, ain't it ? Let 'im speak." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 137 

"Anyhow," continued Malines, sharply, "/ mean to 
keep the bit o' ground I 've staked off, whether you like 
it or no " 

" An' so do I," cried Welsh, who was what may be 
styled a growly man. 

" Sure, an' so does myself," said Teddy Malone, " for 
I 've staked off a bit about six feet long an' two broad to 
plant mesilf in wliin I give up the ghost." 

This mild pleasantry seemed to calm a little the rising 
wrath of contending parties, much to Dominick's satis- 
faction, for he was exceedingly anxious to keep in the 
backcjround and avoid interference. During^ the week 
that had passed, he had more than once been forced to 
have sharp words with Malines, and felt that if he was 
to act as a peacemaker — which he earnestly wished to 
do — -he must avoid quarrelling with him if possible. 

The hopes of those who wished to settle matters 
amicably, however, were dashed by the fiery tailor, who, 
still smarting under the contemptuous tones and words 
of the mate, suddenly sprang to his feet and suggested 
that, as Malines knew nothing about agriculture, no land 
at all should be apportioned to him, but that he should 
be set to fishing, or some such dirty work, for the benefit 
of the community. 

This was too much for Malines, who strode towards 
Buxley with clenched fists and furious looks, evidently 



138 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

intending to knock him down. To the surprise and 
amusement of every one, Buxley threw himself into a 
pugilistic attitude, and shouted defiantly, "Come on!" 
There is no saying how the thing would have ended, if 
Dominick had not quickly interposed. 

" Come, Mr. Malines," he said, " it is not very creditable 
in you to threaten a man so very much smaller than 
yourself." 

"Out of my road," shouted the mate, fiercely, "we 
don't want gentlemen to lord it over us." 

" ]N"o, nor yet hlackguards," growled a voice in the 
crowd. 

This so angered Malines, that he dealt Dominick a 
sounding slap on the cheek. 

For a moment there was dead silence, as the two men 
glared at each other. If it had been a blow the youth 
might have stood it better, but there was something so 
stinging, as well as insulting, in a slap, that for a moment 
he felt as if his chest would explode. Before he could 
act, however, Joe Binney thrust his bulky form between 
the men. 

" Leave 'm to me, master," he said, quietly turning up 
his wristbands, '' I 'm used to this sort o' thing, an' " 

"No, no," said Dominick, in a deep, decided voice, 
"listen." 

He grasped Joe by the arm, and whispered a few worda 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISPIIEEK 139 

in his ear. A smile broke over the man's face, and he 
shook his head doubtfully. 

" Well, it may be so," he remarked, " an' no doubt it 
would have a good effect." 

" Now, then, stand aside," said Dominick, as he 
retreated a few paces and threw off his coat, while 
Malines still stood in a threatening attitude, with an 
expression of contempt on his face. " My friends," he 
said, as he slowly rolled up his shirt- sleeves, showing a 
pair of arms which, although not bulky, displayed an 
amount of sinews and muscle that was suggestive of 
knotted ropes under a fair skin, — " My friends," he said, 
" somewhere in the Bible it is written, ' Smite a scorner, 
and the simple will beware.' I have done my best to 
conciliate tliis scorner without success ; I shall now try 
to smite him." 

"An brother David an' me will see fair play," 
remarked Joe Binney. 

If the combatants had been more equally matched, 
the spectators would probably have encouraged Dominick 
with a cheer, but the difference in size was so apparent, 
that astonishment kept them silent. Dominick was 
indeed fully as tall as his opponent, and his shoulders 
were nearly as broad, but the massive weight of Malines's 
figure seemed to render the chance of Dominick's success 
highly improbable. 



HO TIIE ISLAND QUEEN : 

The youth sprang at him, however, like lightning, and, 
hitting him a violent blow on the forehead, leapt back 
out of his reach. 

The blow had the effect that was intended ; it roused 
the mate's wrath to the utmost pitch, causing him to 
rush at his opponent, striking right and left with all his 
force. Dominick, however, leapt about with such activity, 
that only a few of the blows reached him, and these not 
with their full force. The result was that the mate 
became what is styled winded in a few minutes, and 
was compelled to pause to recover himself, but Dominick 
had no intention of allowing him time to recover himself. 
Without a moment's hesitation, he sprang in again and 
planted a severe left-hander between his opponent's eyes. 
This roused the mate once more to white heat, and he 
sought to close with his foe, but the latter prevented 
that by leaping aside, tripping him up, and causing him 
to plunge forward on his hands and knees — assisting him 
to that position with a stiff rap on the right temple as 
he passed. 

Then it was that Malines discovered that he had drawn 
on himself the wrath of one who had been the champion 
boxer in a large public school, and was quite as tough 
as himself in wind and limb, though not so strong or so 
heavy. 

Now, it is not our intention to give a graphic account 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIELN IIEMISPHEEE. 141 

of tliat pugilistic encounter. Yet is it needful to point out 
briefly how, being a man of peace, as well as a man of 
science, Dominick managed to bring this fight to as 
speedy a close as possible. Instead, then, of striking 
his foe in all directions, and producing a disgusting scene 
of bloodshed, he confined his practice chiefly to one 
spot, between the eyes, close above the bridge of the nose 
— varying it a little with a shot now and then under each 
eye. This had the effect, owing to constant repetition, 
of gradually shutting up both Malines's eyes so that he 
could not easily see. When in this condition, Dominick 
suddenly delivered first a left and then a right hander 
into what is sometimes called the breadbasket, and 
stretched his adversary on the sand. 

Dominick was not boastful or ungenerous. He did not 
crow over his fallen foe. On the contrary, he offered to 
assist that smitten scorner to rise, but Malines preferred 
in the meantime to lie still. 

It is scarcely necessary to say that the emigrants 
watched this short but sharp encounter with keen interest, 
and when it was ended gave vent to a cheer, in which 
surprise was quite as clearly expressed as satisfaction. 

"Now, I tell 'ee what it is, lads," said Joe Binney, 
striking his great right fist into the palm of his left hand 
enthusiastically, " I never seed the likes o' that since I 
was a leetle booy, and I 've got a motion for to propose, 



142 THE ISLAND QUEEN: 

as they say at meetin's. It 's this, that we makes Master 
Dom'nik Eiggundy capting over us all." 

Up started Teddy Malone, with a slap of his thigh. 
"And it's mesilf as '11 second that motion — only we 
should make him governor of the whole island, if not 
king ! " 

" Hear 1 hear ! " shouted a decided majority of the party. 
" Let him be king ! " 

When silence had heen partially restored Dominick 
politely but firmly declined the honour, giving it as his 
opinion that the fairest way would be to have a 
republic. 

"A republic! No; what we wants is a despotism/* 
said David Binney, who had up to this point remained 
silent, " a regular despot — a howtocrat — is what we wants 
to keep us in order." 

" Hump ! " exclaimed Hugh Morris, contemptuously, 
" if you 'd on'y let Malines have his way you 'd soon have 
a despot an* a howtocrat as 'ud keep yer noses to the 
grindstone." 

" Mrs. Lynch," whispered Otto, who had hitherto stood 
beside the widow watching the proceedings with inex- 
pressible glee, " you get up an' propose that Pina should 
be queen ! " 

That this suggestion came upon the widow with a shock 
of surprise as well as approval was obvious from the wide- 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN" HEMISPHERE. 143 

eyed stare with wliicli for a moment she regarded the boy, 
and from her subsequent action. Taking a bold and 
masculine stride to the front of the disputers, she turned 
about and faced them. 

" Howld yer tongues now, boys, all of you, and listen 
to what your grandmother's got to say." 

A shout of lanirhter cut her short for a few seconds. 

" That 's right, old 'ooman, out with it." 

" Sure, if ye 'd stop your noise I 'd out wid it fast 
enough, Now, then, here ye are, nivver a man of ye able 
to agree wid the others ; an the raisin 's not far to seek — 
for yer all wrong togither. It would nivver do to make 
wan o* you a king — not even Joe here, for he knows nixt 
to nothin', nor yet Mister Eig Gundy, though he can fight 
like a man, for it 's not a king's business to fight. ISTo, 
take my word for it ; what ye want is a queen " 

A loud explosion of mirth drowned the rest. " Hurrah ! 
for Queen Lynch," cried one. " The Eoyl blood of owld 
Ireland for ivver ! " shouted Malone. 

" I wouldn't," said the widow indignantly, " condescind 
to reign over sitch a nation o' pigs, av ye was to go down 
on yer bare knees an' scrape them to the bone. No, it 's 
English blood, or Spanitch, I don't rightly know which, 
that I 'm drivin' at, for where could ye find a better, or 
honester, or purtier queen than that swate creetur, Miss 
Pauline Eig Gundy?" 



144 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

The idea seemed to break upon the assembly as a light 
in a dark place. For a moment they seemed struck 
dumb ; then there burst forth such a cheer as showed 
that the greater part of those present sympathised heartily 
with the proposal 

" I know'd ye 'd agree to it. Sure, men always 
does when a sensible woman spakes. You see, Queen 
Pauline the First " 

*' Hurrah ! for Queen Pauline the Pirst," yelled the 
settlers, with mingled cheers and laughter. 

" Queen Pauline the Pirst, ye may be sure," continued 
the widow, " would nivver try to kape order wid her fists, 
nor yit wid shoutin' or swearin'. An' then, av coorse, it 
would be aisy to make Mister Duminick or Joe Binney 
Prime Minister, an' little Buxley Chancier o' the Checkers, 
or whatever they calls it. Now, think over it, boys, an' 
good luck be wid ye." 

They did think over it, then and there, in real earnest, 
and the possibility of an innocent, sensible, gentle, just, 
sympathetic, and high-minded queen reigning over them 
proved so captivating to these rough fellows, that the idea 
which had been at first received in jest crystallised into a 
serious purpose. At this point Otto ventured to raise his 
voice in this first deliberation of the embryo State. 

" Friends," he said, with an air of modesty, which, we 
fear, was foreign to his nature, "although I can only 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHEKN HEMISPHERE. 145 

appear before you as a boy, my big brother has this day 
proved himself to be so much more than an ordinary man 
that I feel somehow as if I had a right to his surplus 
manhood, being next-of-kin, and therefore I venture to 
address you as a sort of man." (Hear, hear !) ''I merely 
wish to ask a question. May I ask to be the bearer of 
the news of this assembly's determination to — the — the 
Queen?" 

" Yes — yes— of course — av course," were the immediate 
replies. 

Otto waited not for more, but sped to their new hut, 
in which the Queen was busy preparing dinner at the 
time. 

"Pina," exclaimed the boy, bursting in, "will you 
consent to be the Queen of Big Island ? " 

" Come, Otto ; don't talk nonsense. I hope Dom is 
with you. Dinner is much overdone already." 

" No, but I 'm not talking nonsense," cried Otto. " I 
say, will you consent to be a queen — a real queen — Pina 
the First, eh ?" . 

Hereupon he gave his wondering sister a graphic 
account of the recent meeting, and fight, and final de- 
cision. 

"But they don't really mean it, you know," said 
Pauline, laughing. 

" But they do really mean it," returned Otto ; " and, by 



14G THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

the way, if you become a queen won't that necessarily 
make me and Dom princes ?" 

As Dominick entered the hut at that moment he 
joined in the laugh which this question created, and 
corroborated his brother's statement. 

In this cheerful frame of mind the new Eoyal Family 
sat down to dinner. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEKN HEMISPHERE. 147 



ciiAriEr. VIII. 

TEE CORONATION— CROWN-MAKING DELIBERATIONS, CEREMONIALS, AND 

CATASTROFELES. 

rpHEEE came a day not many weeks later in the history 
-■- of our emigrants, when great preparations were made 
for an important and unusual event. 

This was neither more nor less than the coronation of 
Queen Pauline the First. 

The great event had been delayed by the unfortunate 
illness of the elect queen herself — an illness brought on by 
reckless exposure in the pursuit of the picturesque and 
beautiful among the islets of the lagoon. In other words, 
Otto and she, when off on a fishing and sketching excur- 
sion in the dingy of the wreck, had been caught in a 
storm and drenched to the skin. The result to Otto was 
an increase of appetite ; to Pauline, a sharp attack of 
fever, which confined her for some time to the palace, as 
their little hut was now styled. Here the widow Lynch 
— acting the united parts of nurse, lady of the bedchamber, 
mistress of the robes, maid of honour, clicf de cuisine, and 



148 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

any otlier office that the reader may recollect as belonging 
to royalty — did so conduct herself as to gain not only the 
approval but the affection and gratitude of her royal 
mistress. 

During the period of Pauline's convalescence consider- 
able changes had taken place in the circumstances and 
condition of the community. The mere fact that a 
government had been fixed on, the details of which were 
being wrought out by a committee of leading men ap- 
pointed by the people, tended to keep the turbulent spirits 
pretty quiet, and enabled the well-disposed to devote all 
their strength of mind and body to the various duties that 
devolved upon them and the improving of their circum^ 
stances. Busy workers are usually peaceful. They have 
no time to quarrel. It is only when turbulent idlers 
interfere with or oppress them that the industrious are 
compelled to show their teeth and set up their backs. 

During these weeks the appearance of the shores of Big 
Island began to change materially. All round the edge of 
Silver Bay a number of bright green patches were enclosed 
by rough but effective fences. These were the gardens of 
the community, in which sweet potatoes, yams, &c,, grew 
spontaneously, while some vegetables of the northern 
hemisphere had already been sown, and w^ere in some cases 
even beginning to show above ground. In these gardens, 
when the important work of planting had been finished, 



* 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISPIIEEE. 149 

the people set about building huts of various shapes and 
sizes, according to their varying taste and capacity. 

Even at this early stage in the life of the little com- 
munity the difficulties which necessarily surround a state 
of civilisation began to appear, and came out at one of 
the frequent though informal meetings of the men on 
the sands of Silver Bay. It happened thus : — 

It was evening. The younger and more lively men of 
the community, having a large store of surplus energy un- 
exhausted after the labours of the day, began, as is the 
wont of the young and lively, to compete with one another 
in feats of agility and strength, while a group of their 
elders stood, sat, or reclined on a bank, discussing the 
affairs of the nation, and some of them enjoying their 
pipes — for, you see, everything in the wreck having been 
saved, they had, among other bad things, plenty of tobacco. 

Dr. Marsh sat among the elders, for, although several 
weeks on shore had greatly restored his health, he was 
still too weak to join in the athletics. A few of the 
women and children also looked on, but they stood aside 
by themselves, not feeling very much interested in the 
somewhat heated discussions of the men. 

By degrees these discussions degenerated into disputes, 
and became at last so noisy that the young athletes were 
attracted, and some of them took part in the debates. 

" I tell 'ee what it is," exclaimed Kobbs, the blacksmith, 



150. THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

raising his powerful voice above tlie otlier voices, and 
lifting his huge fist in the air, " something '11 have to be 
done, for I can't go on workin' for nothin' in this fashion." 

" No more can I, or my mates," said Abel Welsh, the 
carpenter. 

'' Here comes the Prime Minister," cried Teddy Malone. 

"To he — he ain't Prime Minister yet," growled Jabez 
Jenkins, who, being a secret ally of Hugh Morris, was one 
of the disaffected, and had, besides, a natural tendency to 
growl and object to everything. 

" He is Prime Minister," cried the fiery little Buxley, 
starting up and extending his hand with the air of one 
who is about to make a speech. " No doubt the Queen 
ain't crowned yet, an' hasn't therefore appointed any one 
to be her Minister, but we know she means to do it, and 
we 're all agreed about it." 

" No we ain't," interrupted Jenkins, angrily. 

" Well, the most on us, then," retorted Buxley. 

" Shut up, you radical ! " said Nobbs, giving the tailor 
a facetious slap on the back, " an' let 's hear what the 
Prime Minister himself has got to say about it." 

•* What is the subject under discussion ? " inquired 
Dominick, who, with Otto, joined the group of men at the 
moment, and flung down a basket of fine fish which he 
had just caught in the lagoon. 

He turned to Dr. Marsh for an answer. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEKN HEMISPHERE. 151 

"Do you explain your difficulties," said the doctor to 
the blacksmith. 

" Well, sir," said Nobbs, "here's where it is. When I fust 
corned ashore an* set up my anvil an* bellows I went to 
work with a will, enjyin' the fun o* the thing an' the 
novelty of the sitivation ; an* as we 'd lots of iron of all 
kinds I knocked off nails an' hinojes an' all sorts o* thincrs 
for anybody as wanted 'em. Similarly, w'en Abel Welsh 
corned ashore he went to work with his mates at the pit- 
saw an' tossed off no end o* planks, etceterer. But you 
see, sir, arter a time we come for to find that we're 
workin' to the whole population for nothin', and while 
everybody else is working away at his own hut or garden, 
or what not, our gardens is left to work themselves, an* 
our huts is nowhere ! Now, as we *ve got no money to 
pay for work with, and as stones an' shells won't answer 
the purpus — seein' there 's a sight too much of 'em — the 
question is, what 's to be done ? '* 

" Xot an easy question to answer, N"ob"bs," said Domi- 
nick, " and one that requires serious consideration. 
Perhaps, instead of trying to answer it at present, we 
might find a temporary expedient for the difficulty until a 
Committee of the House — if I may say so— shall investi- 
gate the whole problem.'* (Hear, hear, from Malone, 
Eedding, and Buxley, and a growl from Jenkins.) "I 
would suggest, then, in the meantime, that while IN'obbs 



152 !riIE ISLAND QUEEN : 

and Welsh, — who are, perhaps, the most useful men 
amoDg us — continue to ply their trades for the benefit of 
the community, every man in the community shall in 
turn devote a small portion of time to working in the 
gardens and building the huts of these two men." (Hear, 
hear, from a great many of the hearers, and dissenting 
growls from a few.) "But," continued Dominick, " as 
there are evidently some here who are not of an obliging 
disposition, and as the principle of willing service lies at the 
root of all social felicity, I would further suggest that, until 
our Queen is crowned and the Government fairly set up, all 
such labour shall be undertaken entirely by volunteers." 

This proposal was agreed to with boisterous acclaim, 
and nearly the whole community volunteered on the 
spot. While this little difficulty was being overcome, 
Pauline lay sleeping in the palace hard by, and the 
enthusiastic cheer with which the conclusion of Domi- 
nick's speech was received awoke her. 

"There — I know'd they'd do it 1" exclaimed the lady 
of tlie bed-chamber fiercely ; " lie still, cushla ! an' shut 
your purty eyes. Maybe you '11 drop off again ! " 

A humorous smile beamed in Pauline's countenance 
and twinkled in her eyes. 

" Thank you, dear nurse, I 've had enough of sleep. 
Indeed, I begin to feel so strong that I think I shall very 



soon be able to undergo that- 



» 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 153 

Pauline stopped and burst into a fit of merry laughter. 

" It 's that caronation, now, ye '11 be thinkin' av ? " said 
the widow Lynch, with a reproving look. " Faix, it 's no 
laughin' matter ye '11 find it, dear. It 's onaisy is the hid 
as wears a crown.'* 

" Why you talk, nurse, as if you had worn one your- 
self, and knew all about its troubles." 

"Sure, av I didn't, me progenissors did, in Munster, 
before you English konkered us an' turned us topsy- 
turvy. But nivver mind. I don't bear no ill will to 'ee, 
darlint, bekaise o' the evil deeds o' yer forefathers. I 'm 
of a forgivin' disposition. An' it's a good quane you'll 
make, too, av ye don't let the men have too much o' their 
own way. But I do think that you an' me togither '11 be 
more than a match for them all. D 'ee think ye could 
stand the caronation now, dear?" 

" Yes, I think I could. But really, you know, I find it 
so hard to believe it is not all a joke, despite the grave 
deputations that have waited on me, and the serious 
arguments they have used. The idea of making me — 
Me — a Queen !" . 

Agaui Pauline Eigonda gave way to merry laughter, 
and again did her lady of the bed-chamber administer a 
reproof by expressing the hope that she might take the 
matter as lightly a year hence. 

This pertinacious reference to possible trouble being 



154 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

mingled with tlie coutemplated honour checked Pauline's 
disposition to laugh, and she had quite recovered her 
gravity when her brother Otto entered. 

" Pina, I Ve come to tell you that they 've fixed the 
coronation for Monday next if you feel up to it, and that 
the new palace is begun — a very different one, let me tell 
you, from this wretched affair with its tumble-down walls 
and low roof." 

" Indeed — is it so very grand ?'* 

" Grand ! I should think it is. Why, it has got three 
rooms — three rooms — think o' that ! Not countin' a 
splendid out-house stuck on behind about ten feet square 
and over six feet high. Each of the three rooms is 
twelve feet long by ten broad ; seven feet high, and 
papered with palm leaves. The middle one is the hall of 
Audience and Justice — or i?ijustice if you like — the 
Council Chamber, the House of Parliament, the mess- 
room, and the drawing-room. The one on the right with 
two windows, from which are magnificent views, is your 
Majesty's sleeping- room and boudoir ; that on the left is 
the ditto of Prime Minister Dominick and his Chief 
Secretary Prince Otto. The sort of hen-coop stuck on 
behind is to be the abode of the Court Physician, Dr. 
John. Marsh — whom, by the way, you TL have to knight 
— and with whom is to be billeted the Court Jester, 
Man-at-Arms, Man-of-all-work and general retainer, 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEKX IIEMISTIIET^E. 155 

liitle Buxley. So, you see, it 's all cut and dry, though 
of course it will take some little time to finish the palace 
in all its multitudinous details. Meanwhile I have been 
sent to sound you as to Monday next. Will you be able 
and ready ?" 

" If I could only get myself to believe," answered 
Pauline, as she leaned on one elbow on her couch, and 
toyed contemplatively wdth a fold of the shawl that 
covered her, " that the people are really in earnest, 

I -" 

"Eeally in earnest T' repeated Otto. "Why, Pina, 

never w^ere people more in earnest in this world. If 
you 'd heard and seen them talking about it as I have, 
you 'd not doubt their earnestness. Besides, you have no 
idea how needful you are to the community. The fact is, 
it is composed of such rough and rowdy elements — 
though of course there are some respectable and well- 
principled fellows among them — that nothing short of a 
power standing high above them and out o' their reach 
will have any influence with them at all. There are so 
many strong, determined, and self-willed men amongst 
them that there's no chance of their ever agreeing to 
submit to each other ; so, you see, you are a sort of good 
angel before whom they will be only too glad to bow — a 
kind of superior being whom they will reverence and to 
whom tlicy will submit — a human safety-valve, in short, 



156 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

to prevent the community from blowing up — a species of 
—of " 

Here Pauline burst into another of her irrepressible 
fits of laughter, and being joined therein by Prince Otto, 
called forth a remonstrance from Mrs. Lynch, who 
declared that if that was the way they were goin* to 
manage the affairs of state, she would be obliged to 
advise the settlers to change their minds and set up a 
republic. 

"An' sure, mother," said Otto, who was a privileged 
favourite, " nothing could be better, with yourself as 
President." 

"Go along w^id ye, boy, an' do yer dooty. Tell the 
people that Miss Pauline will be ready — wind an' 
weather permittin ." 

" Am I to take back that message, Pina ?" asked Otto, 
with a look of glee. 

" Well, I suppose you may." 

It was not in the nature of things that a coronation in 
the circumstances which we have described should take 
place without being more or less intermingled with the 
unavoidable absurdities which mark the coronations of 
older and more densely peopled lands. It was felt that 
as the act was a seriously meant reality, and no mere 
joke, it should be gone about and accomplished with all 
due solemnity and proper ceremonial, somewhat after the 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISrilEEE. 157 

pattern — as Teddy Malone suggested — of a Lord ^Tayor's 
Show ; a suggestion, by the way, which did not conduce 
to the solemnity of the preliminary discussions. 

There was one great difficulty, however, with which the 
embryo nation had to contend, and this was that not one 
of the community had ever seen a coronation, or knew 
how the details of the matter should be arranged. 

In these circumstances an assembly of the entire nation 
was convened to consider the matter. As this convention 
embraced the women (except, of course, the queen elect), 
it included the babies, and as most of these were self- 
assertive and well-developed in chest and throat, it was 
found necessary to relegate them and the women to an 
outer circle, while the men in an inner circle tackled the 
problem. 

The widow Lynch, being quite irrepressible except by 
physical force, and even by that with difficulty, was 
admitted on sufferance to the inner circle, and took part 
in the discussions. 

Like most large assemblies, this one was found so 
unmanageable, that, after an hour or two of hopeless 
wrangling, Buxley the tailor started up with dishevelled 
hair and glaring eyeballs, and uttered a yell that produced 
a momentary silence. Seizing the moment, he said — 

" I moves that we apint a committee to inquire into 
the whole matter an' report," 



tt 



tt 



158 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" Hear, hear, and well said ! " sliouted a multitude of 
voices. 

"An' I movies," cried Mrs. Lynch, starting forward 
with both arms up and all her fingers rampant, " that " 

"ISTo, no, mother," interrupted Buxley, "you must 
second the motion. 

" Howld yer tongue, ye dirty spalpeen ! Isn't it the 
second motion that I'm puttin'? I moves that the 

committee is Mr. Dumnik Eig Gundy an' Dr. Marsh " 

An' Mister Xobbs," shouted a voice. 
An' Mister Joe Binney," said another. 

"An' little Mister Buxley, be way of variashun," cried 
Teddy Malone. 

"An' Mistress Lynch, for a change," growled Jabez 
Jenkins. 

" Hear, hear ! IsTo, no ! Hurrah ! Nonsense ! 
Howld yer tongue ! Be serious ! " — gradually drowned 
in a confusion of tongues with a yelling accompaniment 
from infantry in the outer circle. 

It was finally agreed, however, that the arrangements 
for the coronation should be left entirely to a committee 
composed of Dominick, Dr. Marsh, Joe Binney, and Hugh 
Morris — Joe being put forward as representing the agricul- 
tural interest, and Hugh the malcontents. Teddy Malone 
was added to make an odd number, " for there 's luck in 
odd numbers," as he himself remarked on accepting office. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHEEN HEMISPHERE. 159 

Immediately after the general meeting broke up, these 
five retired to the privacy of a neighbouring palm grove, 
where, seated on a verdant and flowering bank, they pro- 
ceeded calmly to discuss details. 

" You see, my friends," said Dominick, " it must be our 
most earnest endeavour to carry out this important matter 
in a serious and business-like manner. Already there is too 
much of a spirit of levity among the people, who seem to 
look at the whole affair as a sort of game or joke, playing, 
as it were, at national life, whereas we actually arc an 
independent nation " 

"A small wan, av coorse," murmured Malone. 

" Yes, a small one, but not the less real on that account, 
so that we are entitled to manage our own affairs, arrange 
our own government, and, generally, to act according to 
our united will. These islands and their surroundint^s 
are unknown — at least they are not put down on any 
chart ; I believe we have discovered them. There are no 
inhabitants to set up a counter claim; therefore, being 
entitled to act according to our will, our appointment 
of a queen to rule us— under limited powers, to be 
hereafter well considered and clearly written down — is 
a reality; not a mere play or semi-jest to be un- 
done lightly when the fancy takes us. That being 
so, we must go to work with gravity and earnestness of 
purpose." 



160 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

Teddy Malone, who was an impressionable creature, 
here became so solemnised that his lengthening visage 
and seriously wrinkled brow rendered gravity — especially 
on the part of Dr. Marsh — almost impossible. 

Overcoming his feelings with a powerful effort the 
doctor assented to what Dominick said, and suggested 
that some mild sort of ceremonial should be devised for 
the coronation, in order to impress the beholders as well 
as to mark the event. 

" That 's so," said Teddy Malone, " somethin' quiet an' 

orderly, like an Irish wake, or . Ah ! then ye needn't 

smile, doctor. It 's the quietest an* most comfortin' thing 
in life is an Irish wake whin it 's gone about properly." 

'' But we don't want comforting, Teddy," said Dominick, 
" it is rather a subject for rejoicing/' 

" Well, then, what 's to hinder us rejoicin' in comfort ?** 
returned Teddy. " At all the wakes I ivver attinded there 
was more rejoicin' than comfortin* goin* on ; but that 's a 
matter of taste, av coorse." 

" There '11 have to be a crown o' some sort," remarked 
Hugh Morris. 

" You *re right, lad,'* said Joe Binney. " It wouldn't 
do to make it o' pasteboard, would it ? P'r'aps that 'ud 
be too like playin' at a game, an' tin would be little better." 

" What else can we make it of, boys ? " said Malone, 
" we 've got no goold here — worse luck ! but maybe the 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEHN HEMISPIIEKE. 161 

carpenter cud make wan o' wood. With a lick o' yellow 
paint it would look genuine." 

" Nonsense, Teddy," said the doctor, " don't you see that 
in this life men should always be guided by circumstances, 
and act with propriety. Here we are on an island sur- 
rounded by coral reefs, going to elect a queen ; what more 
appropriate than that her crown should be made of coral." 

" The very thing, doctor," cried Malone, with em- 
phasis, " och ! it 's the genius ye have ! There 's all kinds 
o' coral, red and white, an' we could mix it up wi' some 
o' that fine-coloured seaweed to make it purty." 

"It could be made pritty enough without seaweed," 
said Binney, "an' it's my notion that the women-folk 
would be best at makin' of it." 

"Eight, Joe, right, so, if you have no objection, we will 
leave it to them," said Dominick, "and now as to the 
ceremonial ? " 

" A pursession," suggested Joe Binney. 

" Just so," said Hugh Morris, " the very thing as was 
in my mind/' 

"And a throne," cried Malone, "there couldn't be a 
proper quane widout a throne, you know. The carpenter 
can make that, anyhow, for there 's wood galore on the 
island — red, black, an' white. Yis, we must have a grand 
throne, cut, an' carved, an' mounted high, so as she '11 have 
two or three steps to climb up to it." 



1G2 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

In regard to the procession and the throne there was 
considerable difference of opinion, but difficulties were 
got over and smoothed down at last by the tact and 
urbanity of Dominick, to whom, finally, the whole ques- 
tion of the coronation was committed. Thus it frequently 
happens among men. In the multitude of counsellors 
there is wisdom enough, usually, to guide in the selection 
of the fittest man to take the helm in all important 
affairs. 

And that reminds us that it is high time to terminate 
this long digression, and guide our readers back to the 
beginning of the chapter, where we stated that the 
important day had at last arrived. 

Happily, in those highly favoured climes weather has 
not usually to be taken much into account. The sun 
arose out of the ocean's breast with the same unclouded 
beauty that had marked his rise every morning for a week 
previously, and would probably mark it for a week to 
come. The sweet scents of the wooded heights floated 
down on the silver strand ; the sharks ruffled the surface 
of the lagoon with their black fins, the birds hopped or 
flew from palm-tree to mimosa-bush, and the waterfowl 
went about according to taste on lazy or whistling wings, 
intent on daily business^ much as though nothing unusual 
were " in the air." 

But it was otherwise with the human family on Lig 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEnN IIEMISPIIErtE. 1G3 

Island. Unwonted excitement was visible on almost 
every face. Bustle was in every action. Preparations 
were going on all round, and, as some members of the 
community were bent on giving other members a surprise, 
there was more or less of secrecy and consequent mystery 
in the behaviour of every one. 

By breakfast-time little Mrs. Xobbs, the blacksmith's 
laughter-loving wife, had nearly laughed herself into fits 
of delight at the crown, which she assisted Mrs. Welsh 
and the widow Lynch to fabricate. The last had devised 
it, Mrs. Welsh had built it in the rough, and Mrs. Nobbs 
had finished it off with the pretty little wreath of red and 
white branching coral that formed its apex. Apart from 
taste it was a stupendous erection. 

" But don't you think that it 's too big and heavy ?" cried 
Mrs. Nobbs, with a shrieking giggle and clapping of her 
hands, as she ran back to have a distant view of it. 

" Pooh !" exclaimed Mrs. Lynch contemptuously, " too 
heavy ? No, it 's nothing my dear, to what the kings 
an' quanes of Munster wore." 

" But Miss Pauline is neither a king nor a queen of 
Munster, an' I do think it 's a bit over-heavy," objected 
Mrs. Welsh, as she lifted the structure with difficulty. 

"Well, ye might take off the wreath," was the widow's 
reply. 

Mrs. ITobbs removed the only part of the erection that 



164 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

was really pretty, but still it was pronounced by Mrs. 
Welsh to be too heavy, especially for the fair and delicate 
brows of Pauline Eigjonda. 

While they were thus engaged Dr. Marsh entered the 
hut, where, for the sake of secrecy, the crown had been 
prepared, but Dr. Marsh was a privileged man, besides he 
was there professionally ; little Brown- eyes was sick — • 
not seriously, but sufficiently so to warrant medical 
intervention. 

" Well, what have we here, ladies ? " said the doctor 
blandly, " part of the throne, eh ? " 

"Sure it is, in a sort of way, for it's the crown," 
answered Mrs. Lynch, "an' they think it's over- 
heavy." 

" l^Tot at all ; by no means," cried the doctor heartily. 
" It 's splendid. Put the wTcath on — so. Nothing could 
be finer. Shall I carry it up for you ? The coronation is 
fixed for noon, you know, so that we may have time to 
finish off with a grand feast." 

" No, no, doctor dear. Thank 'ee kindly, but we must 
cover it up, so 's not to let the people see it till the right 
time." 

" Well, see that you 're not late with it.** 

Having caused Brown- eyes to put out her little tongue, 
and felt her pulse, and nodded his head gravely once 
or twice without speaking, all of which must have 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEEN IIEMISPIIEPvE. 1G5 

been liiglily comforting and beneficial to the child, the 
doctor went out. 

'Not long afterwards the people began to assemble 
round the palace, in front of which a wondrous throne 
had been erected. Down in a dell behind a cliff some 
fifty men had assembled secretly with the crown on a 
cushion in their midst. They were headed by Dr. Marsh, 
who had been unanimously elected to place the crown on 
Pauline's head. In the palace Pauline was being prepared 
by Mrs. Lynch and Mrs. Nobbs for the ceremony. 

On the top of a mound close to the palace a band of 
conspirators was assembled. These conspirators were 
screened from view by some thick bushes. Otto Eigonda 
was their ringleader, Teddy Malone and little Buxley 
formed the rest of the band. Otto had found a dead tree. 
Its trunk had been hollowed by decay. He and his 
fellow- conspirators had sawn it off near to the ground, and 
close to the root they had drilled a touch-hole. This huge 
piece of ordnance they had loaded with a heavy charge 
of the ship's gunpowder. Otto now stood ready with a 
piece of slow-match at the touch-hole, and another piece, 
lighted, in hand. 

Suddenly, about the hour of noon, Abel Welsh the car- 
penter, and Nobbs the blacksmith, issued from the palace 
with two long tin implements. Secretly, for two weeks 
previously, had these devoted men retired every night 



166 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

to the opposite extremity of Big Island, and frightened 
into fits the birds and beasts of that region with the 
sounds they produced in practising on those instruments. 
Applying the trumpets to their lips, they sent forth a 
tremendous though not uniform blast. 

The surrounding crowd, who expected something but 
knew not Avhat, replied with a cheer not unmixed with 
laughter, for the two trumpets, after the manner of asses, 
had to make some ineffectual preliminary efforts before 
achieving a full-toned bray. An answering note from the 
dell, however, repressed the laughter and awoke curiosity. 
Next moment the doctor appeared carrying the crown, 
and followed by his fifty men, armed with muskets, rifles, 
fowling-pieces, and revolvers. Their appearance was so 
realistic and impressive that the people forgot to cheer. 
At the same moment the palace door was thrown open, 
and Dominick led the youthful queen to the foot of the 
throne. 

Poor little Pauline looked so modest and pretty, and 
even timid, and withal so angelically innocent in the 
simplicity of her attire, that the people burst into an 
earnestly enthusiastic shout, and began for the first time 
to feel that this was no game or play, but a serious 
reality. 

Things had been so arranged that Pina and Dr. Marsh 
reached the foot of the throne together. Then the latter 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISniEIlE. • 1G7 

took tlie pretty coral wreath off the huge crown, and, to 
widow Lynch's felt but no^ expressed indignation, placed 
that on Pauline's head. 

" Pauline Rigonda," he said in a loud voice, " I have 
been appointed by the pecple of this island to crown you, 
in their name and by their authority, as Queen of Refuge 
Islands, in the full belief that your innocence and regard 
for truth and righteousness will be their best guarantee 
that you will select as your assistants the men whom you 
think best suited to aid you in the promotion of good 
government." 

The serious tone of the doctor's voice, and the genuine 
shouts of satisfaction from the people, put the poor little 
queen in such a flutter that nearly all her courage forsook 
her, and she could scarcely reply. Nevertheless, she had 
a mind of her own. 

" Doctor Marsh, and my dear people," she said at last, 
" I — I scarcely know how to reply. You overrate me 
altogether ; but — but, if I rule at all, I will do so by the 
blessed truths of this book [she held up a Bible] ; and — • 
and before taking a single step further I appoint as my 
— my Prime Minister — if I may so call him — Joe 
Binney." 

For one moment there was the silence of amazement, 
for neither Dominick nor Dr. Marsh knew of Pauline's 
intention. Only the widow Lynch had been aware of 

M 



168 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

lier resolve. ISText moment a hilarious cheer burst from 
the crowd, and Teddy Malone, from his retreat, shouted, 
" God bliss the Quane ! " which infused hearty laughter 
into the cheer, whereupon Welsh and Nobbs, thinking 
the right time had come, sent out of their tin tubes, after 
a few ineffectual blurts, two terrific brays. Fearing to be 
too late, one of the armed men let off his piece, which 
was the signal for a grand feu de joie. 

" Now for it," thought the chief conspirator in the 
bushes, as he applied his light to the slow-match. He 
thought nothing more just then, for the slow-match 
proved to be rather quick, fired the powder at once, and 
the monster cannon, bursting with a hideous roar into a 
thousand pieces, blew Otto through the bushes and down 
the mound, at the foot of which he lay as one dead. 

Consternation was on every face. The queen, dropping 
her crown, sprang to his side. Dr. Marsh did the same, 
but Otto recovered almost immediately. 

" That was a stunner ! " he said, with a confused look, 
putting his hand to his head, as they helped him to rise. 

Strange to say, he was none the worse of the misadven- 
ture, but did his part nobly at the Eoyal feast that 
followed. 

That night she who had risen with the sun as Pauline 
Kigonda, laid her fair young head upon the pillow as— 
the Island Queen. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISniEUE. 109 



CHAPTER IX. 

SHOWS HOW THEY WERE TORMENTED BY AN OLD FAMILIAR FIEND ; HOW 
THEY KILLED HIM, AND WHAT BEFELL THE QUEEN AND OTTO WHILE IN 
THE PURSUIT OF LEGITIMATE PLEASURE. 

"TTTHEN the widow Lynch told^^auline that " onaisy is 
the hid as wears a crown/' she stated a great 
truth which was borne in upon the poor queen at the 
very commencement of her reign. 

Up to that time Malines had quietly kept possession 

of the key of the ship's liquor-room, knowing full well 

what extreme danger lay in letting men have unrestrained 

command of strong drink. But when the royal feast 

referred to in the last chapter was pending, he could not 

well refuse to issue an allowance of grog. He did so, 

vever, on the understanding that only a small quantity 

3 to be taken for the occasion, and that he should him- 

f open and lock the door for them. He made this 

pulation because he knew well enough the men who 

mted to drink would break the door open if he refused 

give up the key ; and his fears were justified, for some 

' the more mutinous among the men, under the leader^ 



170 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

ship of Jabez Jenkins and Morris, seized tlie key from tlie 
mate when he produced it, carried all the spirit and wine 
casks to the shore, ferried them over the lagoon to Big 
Island, and set them up ostentatiously and conspicuously 
in a row not far from the palace. As this was under- 
stood by the people to be in connection with the corona- 
tion festivities, no particular notice was taken of it. 

But the result soon began to be felt, for after the 
festivities were over, and most of the settlers had retired 
to rest, a group of kindred souls gathered round the spirit 
casks, and went in for what one of them termed a " regular 
spree." At first they drank and chatted with moderate 
noise, but as the fumes of the terrible fire-water mounted 
to their brains they began to shout and sing, then to 
quarrel and fight, and, finally, the wonted silence of the 
night was wildly disturbed by the oaths and fiendish 
yells and idiotic laughter of maniacs. 

" This won't do," said Dominick, issuing from his room 
in the palace, and meeting the doctor. 

" I had just come to the same conclusion," said the 
latter, ''and was about to consult you as to what w^e 
should do." 

" Collect some of our best men and put a stop to it," 
returned Dominick ; " but here comes the prime minister 
— roused, no doubt, as we have been. What say you, 
Joe ; shall we attempt to quell them ? " 



A tALE Of THE SOtlTIIEHN ITEMISrilERK 171 

" Well, master, that depends. There 's a braw lot on 
'em, an' if they beant far gone, d' ee see, they might gie us 
a deal o' trouble. If they he far gone I 'd advise ye to 
let 'em alone ; the drink '11 quell 'em soon enough. Arter 
that we '11 laiow what to do." 

Just as he spoke a woman was seen rushing frantically 
towards them. It was little Mrs. Nobbs. Poor thing ! 
all her wonted merriment had fled from her comely 
face, and been supplanted by a look of horror. 

" sirs ! " she cried, clasping her hands, and gasping 
as she spoke, " come, come quick, my John has failed an' 
broke his pledge, an' he's goin' to murder some of 'em. I 
know he '11 do it ; he 's got hold o' the fore-hammer. Oh ] 
come quick ! " 

They required no urging. Eunning down to the 
scene of the orgies, they found that the blacksmith, who 
had hitherto been considered — and really was — one 
of the quietest men of the party, w^as now among the 
drunkards. He stood in the midst of the rioters, 
his large frame swaying to and fro, while he held the 
ponderous fore-hammer threateningly in his hands, and 
insanity gleamed in his eyes as he glared fiercely at 
Jabez Jenkins. 

On Jabez the liquor had a different effect, his tempera- 
ment being totally different. He was a rather phlegmatic 
man, and, having drunk enough to have driven two men 



172 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

like the blacksmitli raving mad, he only stood before him 
with a dull heavy look of stupidity, mingled with an 
idiotic sneer of defiance. 

" Fiend ! " shouted ISTobbs, gnashing his teeth, " you 
have got me to do it, and now 1 11 smash in your thick 
skull— I '11 " 

He stopped abruptly for a moment. Joe Binney came 
up behind and gently laid a hand on his shoulder. 

" Come, John, you ain't agoin' to do it. You knows 
you 're not." 

The quiet tone, the gentle yet fearless look, and, above 
all, the sensible, kindly expression on his friend's coun- 
tenance, effectually subdued the blacksmith for a few 
seconds, but the fury soon returned, though the channel 
in whicli it flowed was changed, for Jabez was forgotten, 
having slunk away. 

" Ha ! " he shouted, grasping Joe by the hand and arm, 
" I 've had it again ! You don't know how it shoots 
through my veins. I — I 've tried to break with it, too — 

tried — tried ! D' ee know what it is to try, Joe, to 

try — try — try till your blood curdles, an' your marrow 
boils, and your nerves tingle — but I gained the victory 
once — I — ha ! ha ! yes, I took the pledge an' kep' it, an' 
I Ve bin all right — till to-night. My Mary knows that. 
She '11 tell you it 's true — for months, and months, and 
mouths, and — but I '11 keep it yet !" 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 173 

He shouted his last ■words in a tone of fierce defiance, 
let go his friend, caught up the sledge-hammer, and, 
whirling it round his head as if it had been a mere toy, 
turned to rush towards the sea. 

But Joe's strong arm arrested him. "Well did he 
understand the nature of the awful fiend with which the 
blacksmith was fighting. The scene enacting was, with 
modifications, somewhat familiar to him, for he had dwelt 
near a great city where many a comrade had fallen in the 
same fight, never more to rise in this life. 

Joe's superior strength told for a moment, and he held 
the struggling madman fast, but before Dominick and the 
doctor could spring to his aid, ISTobbs had burst from him. 
The brief check, however, seemed to have changed his 
intentions. Possibly he was affected by some hazy notion 
that it would be a quicker end to leap headlong from the 
neighbouring cliffs than to plunge into the sea. At all 
events, he ran like a deer up towards the woods. A 
bonfire, round which the revellers had made merry, lay in 
his path. He went straight through it, scattering the 
firebrands right and left. Ko one attempted, no one 
dared, to stop him, but God put a check in his way. The 
course he had taken brought him straight up to the row 
of casks which stood on the other side of the fire, and 
again his wild mood was changed. With a yell of 
triumph he brought the sledge-hammer down on one of 



174 THE ISLAND QUEEN: 

the casks, drove in tlie head, and overturned it with the 
same blow, and the liquor gushing out flowed into the 
fire, where it went up in a magnificent roar of flame. 

The effect on those of the rioters who were not too 
drunk to understand anything was to draw forth a series 
of wild cheers, but high above these rang the triumphant 
shout of the blacksmith as he gazed at the destruction of 
his enemy. 

By this time all the people in the settlement had 
turned out, and were looking on in excitement, alarm, or 
horror, according to temperament. Among them, of 
course, was the widow Lynch, who was quick to note 
that events were taking a favourable turn. Springing 
boldly to the side of the smith, and, in her wild dishevel- 
ment of hair and attire, seeming a not unfit companion, 
she cried — 

" Don't spare them, John ! sure there 's another inimy 
close at yer back." 

Nobbs had sense enough left tC '"'^serve something of 
the ludicrous in the woman and her auvice. He turned 
at once, uttered a wildly jovial laugh, and driving in the 
head of another cask, overturned it. As before, the spirit 
rushed down the hill and was set ablaze, but the poor 
madman did not pause now to look at the result. His 
great enemy was in his power; his spirit was roused. 
Like one of the fabled heroes of old, he laid about him 




Do^•T SPARE THEii, JoHN."— Page 174. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHEKE. 177 

with his ponderous weapon right and left until every 
cask was smashed, and every drop of the accursed liquid 
was rushing down the hillside to the sea, or flaming out 
its fierce existence in the air. 

The people looked on awe-stricken and in silence while 
the madman fought. It was not with the senseless casks 
or the inanimate liquor that poor John Nobbs waged war 
that night ; it was with a real fiend who, in days gone 
by, had many a time tripped him up and laid him low, 
who had nearly crushed the heart of his naturally cheer- 
ful little wife, who had ruined his business, broken up his 
home, alienated his friends, and, finally, driven him into 
exile — a fiend from whom, for many months, under the 
influence of " the pledge," he had been free, and who, he 
had fondly hoped, was quite dead. 

This sudden revival of the old foe, and this unexpected 
surprise and fall, had roused this strong man's spirit to 
its utmost ferocity, and in mighty wrath he plied his 
hammer like a second Thor. But the very strength and 
nervous power of the man constituted his weakness when 
brought under the subtle influence of the old tempter, and 
it is probable that on his recovery, with nerves shaken, 
old cravings awakened, and self-respect gone, he would 
have fallen again and again if God had not made use of 
the paroxysm of rage to destroy the opportunity and the 
cause of evil. Nobbs did not know at that time, though 



178 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

he learned it afterwards, that safety from the drink-sin — 
as from all other sin — lies not in strong-man resolutions, 
or Temperance pledges, though both are useful aids, but 
in Jesus, the Saviour from sin. 

Some of those who witnessed the wholesale destruction 
of the liquor would fain have made an effort to prevent 
it ; but, fortunately for the community, most of them 
were too drunk to care, and the others to interfere ; while 
all were so taken by surprise that the deed was done and 
the grand conflagration ended before they had realised the 
full significance of the blacksmith's act. 

\Yhen the last head had been driven in, and the last 
gallon of spirit summarily dismissed by the fire, Nobbs 
threw up his arms, and, looking upward, gave vent to a 
cheer which ended in a prolonged cry. For a moment 
he stood thus, then the hammer dropt from his grasp and 
he fell back insensible. 

Poor little Mrs. Nobbs was by his side on her knees in 
a moment, parting the dark hair from his broad brow, 
kissing his swart cheeks, and chafing his strong hands. 

" John ! darling John !" she cried, " come back — 
come back — don't die. You never was hard or cruel to 
me! Even the drink could rot do that. Come back, 
John !" 

Dr. Marsh here gently restrained her. "Don't be 
alarmed," he said, as he undid the smith's necktie 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISPIIEEE. 179 

" he 11 be all right presently. Stand back, don't crowd 
round him; and you go fetch a cup of water, Mrs. 
Nobbs." 

The reassuring tones and the necessity for action did 
much to calm the excited woman. Before she had 
returned with the water her husband had partially 
recovered. They carried him to his hut, and left him to 
sleep off the effects, while his poor little wife watched by 
his side. When left quite alone, she went down on her 
knees beside him, and prayed for his deliverance with all 
her heart. Then she rose and sat down with a calm, 
contented look, muttering, " Yes ; He is the hearer and 
answerer of prayer. He will answer me." 

She might have gone further and said, " He has 
answered me," for was not the destruction of the liquor 
an answer to the petition before it was put up ? " Before 
they call I will answer." 

" Pina," said Otto the following day, in a tone almost 
of rej)roach, during a private audience witli the queen, 
" Pina, how came you to do such an insane thing as choose 
Joe Binney for your premier ? Why didn't you choose 
Dom ? You know well enough that he's fifty times 
cleverer than Joe, and even in the matter of strength, 
though he 's not so strong, I 'm very sure that with his 
pugilistic powers he could keep order quite as well. 
Besides, all the people had made up their minds as a 



180 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

matter of course that Dom was to be premier, and then — • 
he 's a gentleman." 

"I'm thankful that you are not one of the Privy 
Council, Otto/' returned Pauline, with a laugh. " You 
put several questions and a string of commentary and 
suggestion in the same breath ! Let me answer you in 
detail, beginning with your last remark. Joe is a gentle- 
man in the highest sense of that word. He is gentle as a 
lamb by nature, and a man every inch of him. But, more 
than this, I have noticed that he is a peculiarly wise man, 
with a calm, cool head on all occasions, and not too ready 
to use his great physical power in the settlement of dis- 
putes. I have observed, too, that when asked for his 
advice he usually thinks well before he gives it, and when 
his advice is followed things almost always go well. Still 
further, Joe has the thorough confidence of the people, and 
I am not so sure that Dom has. Besides, if I had 
appointed Dom, some of the ungenerous among them 
misht have said it was done from mere favouritism. 
Then as to the people making up their minds that I 
would appoint Dom," continued Pauline, " what have I 
to do with thatV 

" Why, everything to do with it," returned Otto, with a 
surprised look. " Were you not made queen for the pur- 
pose of carrying out their wishes ?" 

" Certainly not," answered Pauline ; " I was made 



A TALE OF TUE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 181 

queen for the purpose of ruling. They told me they had 
confidence in my judgment, not in my readiness to carry 
out their wishes. If my judgment, coupled with that of 
my advisers, does not suit them, it is open to them to un- 
make me as they made me, and appoint a king or a 
president, but my judgment I cannot alter." 

Otto listened to these gravely stated opinions of the 
new queen with increasing astonishment. 

" Then, you awful despot," he said, " do you mean to 
tell me that you are going to have no regard for the wil] 
of the people V 

" 'No, I don't mean to tell you that, you presumptuous 
little subject. I intend always to have the utmost regard 
for the will of my people, and to weigh it well, and con- 
sult with my advisers about it ; and when our united 
judgment says that their will is good, I will act in 
accordance with it ; when we think it bad, I will reject it. 
I have been made queen to rule, and I mean to rule ! 
That *s fair, isn't it ? If they don't like my ruling they 
can dethrone me. That's also fair, isn't it? You 
wouldn't have me become a mere puppet — a jumping 
Jack or Jinnie — would you, for the people to pull the 
string of?" 

"Well, I never!" exclaimed Otto, gazing with dis- 
tended eyes at the soft fair face and at the pretty little 
innocent mouth that gave vent to these vigorous senti- 



182 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

ments. "And what may it be your majesty's pleasure to 
do next?" 

" It is my pleasure that you, sir, shall go down to the 
beach and prepare the dingy for immediate service. I 
have already directed the prime minister, in conjunction 
with Dom and our Court physician, to draw up a consti- 
tution and code of laws ; while they are thus employed 
you and I will go a-fishing." 

" Very good ; I suppose I 'm bound to obey, but I 
thought your majesty preferred to go a-sketching." 

" We will do both. Be off, sirrah ! " 

Otto was not long in launching and getting ready the 
little punt, or dingy, belonging to the wreck, which, being 
too small for carrying goods to the island, had been made 
over to Pauline as a royal barge for her special amuse- 
ment, and already had she and her little brother enjoyed 
several charming expeditions among the sheltered islets of 
the lagoon, when Otto devoted himself chiefly to rowing 
and fishing while his sister sketched with pencil and 
water-colours. Being expert with both, she took great 
pleasure therein. 

" It is so pleasant and so very engrossing,** she 
murmured, busying herself with a sketch of Otto as he 
rowed gently towards one of the smaller islets. " I can't 
tell you how much I delight — turn your head a little more 
to the left — so — and do keep your nose quiet if you can." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 183 

" Impossible," said Otto. " There 's a little fly that has 
made up its mind to go into my nose. I can neither 
drive it away nor catch it while both hands are engaged 
with the oars, so there 's no resource left but to screw 
my nose about. But what were you going to say you 
delighted in?" 

" In — in drawing," replied the queen very slowly, 
while her pretty little head went up and down as she 
glanced alternately at her sitter and the sketch-book orv 
her knee ; " it — it takes one 's mind — so — off " 

" The cares of state ?" said Otto. " Yes, I can easily 
understand what a — re-re-ha ! hk-sh ! " he gave way to a 
convulsive sneeze ; " there, it went up at last, and that 
little fly's doom is sealed ! " 

" I should think it was," said Pauline laughingly. " To 
be blown from a cannon s mouth must be nothing to that. 
Now, do keep still, just for one minute." 

For considerably more than a minute she went on 
sketching busily, while her brother pulled along very 
gently, as if unwilling to break the pleasant silence. 
Everything around was calculated to foster a dreamy, 
languid, peaceful state of mind. The weather was plea- 
santly cool — ^just cool enough to render the brilliant 
sunshine most enjoyable. Not a zephyr disturbed the 
glassy surface of the sea outside or the lagoon within, or 
broke the perfect reflections of the islets among which 

N 



184 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

they moved. The silence would have been even oppres- 
sive had it not been for the soft, plaintive cries of wild- 
fowl and the occasional whistling of wings as they hurried 
to and fro, and the solemn boom of the great breakers as 
they fell at slow regular intervals on the reef " Doesn't 
it sound," said Pauline, looking up from her sketch with 
a flush of delight, " like the deep soft voice of the ocean 
speaking peace to all mankind ? " 

" What, the breakers ? " asked Otto. 

" Yes, dropping with a soft deep roar as they do in the 
midst of the universal silence." 

"Well, it doesn't quite strike me in that light, Pina. 
My imagination isn't so lively as yours. Seems to me more 
like the snoring of a sleeping giant, whom it is best to let 
lie still like a sleeping dog, for he's apt to do considerable 
damage when roused." 

The soft influences around soon reduced the pair to 
silence again. After a time it was broken by Pauline. 

" What are you thinking of. Otto ?" 

*' I was thinking, your majesty, that it seems unfair, 
after making Joe prime minister, Dom a privy councillor, 
the doctor Court physician and general humbug, that you 
should give me no definite position in the royal house- 
hold." 

"What would you say to being commander of the 
forces?" asked Pauline dreamily, as she put in a few 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHEKN HEMISPHERE. 185 

finishing touches, " for then, you see, you might adopt the 
title which you have unfairly bestowed on the doctor — 
General Humbug." 

Otto shook his head. "Wouldn't do, my dear queen. 
ISTot being a correct description, your bestowing it would 
compromise your majesty's well-known character for 
truthfulness. What d'you say to make me a page — 
page in waiting ?" 

" You 11 have to turn over a new leaf if I do, for a 
page is supposed to be quiet, respectful, polite, obedient, 
ready " 

" No use to go further, Pina. I 'm not cut out for a 
page. Will you land on this islet ? " 

They were gliding softly past one of the most pic- 
turesque and verdant gems of the lagoon at the time. 

" No, I 've taken a fancy to make a sketch from that one 
nearer to the shore of Big Island. You see, there is not 
only a very picturesque group of trees on it just at that 
place, but the background happens to be filled up by a 
distant view of the prettiest part of our settlement, where 
Joe Binney's garden lies, close to Mrs. Lynch's garden, 
with its wonderfully shaped and curious hut (no wonder . 
built by herself !), and a corner of the palace rising just 
behind the new schoolhouse." 

" Mind your eye, queen, else you go souse overboara 
when we strike," said Otto, not without reason, for next 



186 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

moment the dingy's keel grated on the sand of the islet, 
and Pauline, having risen in her eagerness to go to work, 
almost fulfilled the boy's prediction. 

" But tell me, Pina, what do you mean to do with that 
schoolhouse when it is built ? " asked Otto, as he walked 
beside his sister to the picturesque spot above referred to. 

" To teach in it, of course." 

" AVhat— yourself ? " 

" Well, yes, to some extent. Of course I cannot do 
much in that way " 

"I understand — the affairs of state !" said Otto, "vv^ill 
not permit, etc." 

" Put it so if you please," returned Pauline, laughing. 
" Here, sit down ; help me to arrange my things, and 1 11 
explain. You cannot fail to have been impressed with 
the fact that the children of the settlers are dreadfully 
i!:jnorant." 

" H'm ! I suppose you are right ; but I have been more 
deeply impressed with the fact that they are dreadfully 
dirty, and desperately quarrelsome, and deplorably mis- 
chievous." 

"Just so," resumed Pauline. "Now, I intend to get 
your friend Ptedding, who was once a schoolmaster, to 
take these children in hand when the schoolroom is 
finished, and teach them what he can, superintended by 
Dr. Marsh, who volunteered his services the moment I 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 187 

mentioned the school. In the evenings I will take the 
mothers in hand, and teach them their duties to their 
children and the community " 

" Being yourself such an old and experienced mother," 
said Otto. ^ 

" Silence, sir ! you ought to remember that we have a 
dear, darling mother at home, whose character is engraven 
on my memory, and whom I can hold up as a model/* 

" True, Pina ! The dear old mother ! " returned Otto, 
a burst of home-feeling interfering for a moment with his 
levity. " Just you paint her portrait fair and true, and if 
they come anything within a hundred miles o' the mark 
yours will be a kingd — queendom, I mean — of amazin' 
mothers. I sometimes fear," continued the boy, becomi?* g 
grave, " it may be a long time before we set eyes on 
mother again." 

" I used to fear the same," said Pauline, " but I have 
become more hopeful on that point since Dr. Marsh 
said he was determined to have a small schooner built 
out of the wreck, and attempt with a few sailors to reach 
England in her, and report our condition here." 

** Why, that would do you out of your kingdom, Pina !" 

" It does not follow. And what if it did ?" 

" It would be a pity. Not pleasant, you know, to be 
dethroned. But to return to mother. D' you think the 
old cat will have learned to speak by this time 1 " 



183 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

To this Pauline replied that she feared not ; that 
although the cat might have mastered the consonants it 
could never have managed the vowels. " Dear mother," 
she added, in a more earnest tone, " I am quite sure that 
though the cat may not speak to her, she will not have 
ceased to speak to the cat. Now, go away, Otto, you're 
bec!:innin2: to make me talk nonsense." 

" But what about the schoolhouse ? " persisted the boy, 
while the girl began to sketch the view. " You have not 
finished that subject." 

" True — well, besides teaching the mothers I have 
great hopes of inducing Dom to set up a Sunday-school, 
'n which those who feel inclined might be taught out of 
tt ^ Bible, and that might in time lead to our making a 
'-•' irch of it on Sundays, and having regular services, for 
there are some earnest Christians among the men, who I 
feel quite sure would be ready to help in the work. Then 
as to an army " 

" An army ! " echoed Otto, " what do we want with an 
army ? who have we to fight against ? " 

Little did Otto or Pauline think that at the very time 
they were conversing thus pleasantly on that beautiful 
islet the presence of a friendly army was urgently required, 
for there in the bushes close behind them listening to 
every sentence, but understanding never a word, lay a 
group of tattooed and armed savages I 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEEN HEMISniEKK 189 

In the prosecution of evil designs, the nature of which 
was best known to themselves, these savages had arrived 
at Eefuge Islands the night before. Instantly they 
became aware of the presence of the white men, and took 
measures to observe them closely without being them- 
selves observed. Carrying their war-canoe over the reef 
in the dark, and launching it on the lagoon, they advanced 
as near to the settlement as possible, landed a small party 
on an islet, and then retired with the canoe. It was this 
party which lay in ambush so near to our little hero and 
heroine. They had been watching the settlers since day- 
break, and were not a little surprised, as well as gratified, 
by the unexpected arrival of the little boat. 

The savage who lay there grinning like a Cheshire cat,- 
and peeping through the long grass not ten feet from 
where the brother and sister sat, was a huge man, tattooed 
all over, so that his face resembled carved mahogany, hi& 
most prominent feature being a great flat nose, with a 
blue spot on the point of it. 

Suddenly Otto caught sight of the glitter of this man's 
eyes and teeth. 

Now, the power of self-restraint was a prominent feature 
in Otto's character, at least in circumstances of dan^^er, 
though in the matter of fun and mischief he was rather 
weak. No sign did Otto give of his discovery, although 
his heart seemed to jump into his mouth. He did not 



190 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

even check or alter the tone of his conversation, but he 
changed the subject with surprising abruptness. He had 
brought up one of the dingy's oars on his shoulder as a 
sort of plaything or vaulting-pole. Suddenly, asking 
Pauline if she had ever seen him balance an oar on his 
chin, he proceeded to perform the feat, much to her amuse- 
ment. In doing so he turned his back completely on the 
savage in ambush, whose cattish grin increased as the 
boy staggered about. 

But there was purpose in Otto*s staggering. He 
gradually lessened the distance between himself and the 
savage. When near enough for his purpose, he grasped 
the oar with both hands, wheeled sharply round, and 
brought the heavy handle of it down with such a whack 
on the bridge of the savage's blue-spotted nose that he 
suddenly ceased to grin, and dropped his proboscis in 
the dust ! 

At the same instant, to the horror and surprise of the 
brother and sister, up sprang half a dozen hideous natives, 
who seized them, placed their black hands on their 
mouths, and bore them swiftly away. The war- canoe, 
putting off from its concealment, received the party along 
with the fallen leader, and made for the reef. 

High on the cliffs of Big Island Dr. John Marsh had 
been smilingly watching the proceedings of the queen 
and her brother in the dingy. When he witnessed the 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPIIErvE. 191 

last act of the play, however, the smile vanished. With 
a bound that would have done credit to a kangaroo, and 
a roar that would have shamed a lion, he sprang over 
the cliffs, ran towards the beach, and was followed — 
yelling — by all the men at hand — some armed, and some 
not. They leaped into the largest boat on the shore, pnt 
out the ten oars, bent to them with a will, and skimmed 
over the lagoon in fierce pursuit. 

Soon the savages gained the reef, carried their canoe 
swiftly over, and launched on the open sea, cutting 
through the great rollers like a rocket or a fish-torpedo. 

Heavy timbers and stout planks could not be treated 
thus ; nevertheless, the white men were so wild and 
strong, that when the boat finally gained the open sea it 
was not very far behind the canoe. 



192 THE ISLAND QUEEN ; 



CHAPTEE X. 

DESCRIBES A RESCUE, A CONSPIRACY, AND A TRIAL. 

T)EOVEEBIALLY a stern chase is a long one. 
Happily, there are exceptions to proverbs as well 
as rules. The chase of the war-canoe, however, with the 
captured queen on board, did not promise to be excep- 
tional at first, for the canoe was light and sharp, and 
powerfully manned, so that the savages could relieve each 
other frequently, whereas the settlers' boat was heavy and 
blunt, and not by any means too full of men. It soon 
became apparent that the latter was no match for the 
former under oars. The distance between the two visibly 
increased. 

Dr. Marsh steered. He was deadly pale, and there 
was a peculiarly intense expression of anxiety in the 
steady gaze with which he watched the ever-diminishing 
canoe. 

"No chance?" muttered Jabez Jenkins, who happened 
to form one of the crew and pulled the bow oar. 

"No chance?" repeated Dominick, who also pulled one 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEnN IIEMISPIIERE. 193 

of the oars. " There 's every chance. We 're sure to tire 
them out. Ho! lads, give way with a will!" 

Although labouring already with all his might, indigna- 
tion at Jenkins's remark enabled him to put on a spurt, 
which the others imitated. Still the distance between 
boat and canoe increased. 

" They are three to one,'* growled Malines, who, up to 
that time, had been doing his best. 

" Silence !" thundered the doctor, drawing a revolver 
from his pocket and cocking it. 

Beads of perspiration stood on the doctor's brow, and 
there was something so terrible in the look of his white 
face that no one ventured to utter another word, but all 
pulled as if for their lives. 

For some minutes no sound was heard save the regular 
rattle of the oars in the rowlocks, the swish of the foam 
as it flew from the cutwater, and the occasional sob or 
gasp of the men as they exerted themselves to the utmost 
limit of their powers in the hopeless pursuit. 

Suddenly Teddy Malone cried eagerly, " Look out — 
astarn !" 

All turned their gaze as directed, and observed a dark 
line on the horizon. 

" Thank God !" murmured the doctor, "a breeze !'* 

It was indeed true. Just at this critical moment of 
profound despair, a gleam of hope was sent to sustain 



194 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

them ! Is it not often thus in the dealings of God with 
man ? 

There was no relaxation of effort, however, on the part 
of the crew until the breeze bore down on them. Then 
the mate and Hugh Morrison, drawing in their oars, set 
up the mast and hoisted the sails. Instantly the good 
craft bent over, as if bowing submissively to her rightful 
lord, and the gurgling water rolled swiftly from her prow. 
StiU the men plied the oars, but now with the strength 
of hope, until the breeze freshened so much as to rendej 
their further use unnecessary. 

" Now, indeed, the tables are turned," said Dominicl^ 
■^ith a great sigh of relief, as he drew in his oar. 

" Yes ; if the wind holds," said the doctor, glancing 
back anxiously. 

" It '11 howld," said Malone firmly. 

"Who made you so sure a judge of weather?" de- 
manded Jenkins. 

" Sure it isn't me as is judge. It 's the widdy. She 
says to me this mornin', says she, ' The '11 be a stiff breeze 
afore night, Teddy ; ' an' I nivver found the widdy wrong 
in her forecasts o' the weather." 

" The distance decreases rapidly ! Hurrah ! boys, 
we '11 catch them yet," cried Dominick. 

This was obviously the case. With her large sails 
filled by a stiff breeze almost directly astern, the boat 



\ 



X 



V 




\ 



^ 



\ 



\ 



f <■ 



^^ ^.**' 



r 

V: 



V 



I./ 



^S: 



J J U.^ 







" JVST THEN A SAVAGE ROSE AXD PUlSED HIS SPEAR."— Page 19V 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 197 

went throiigli the water like "a thing of life." The 
savages, perceiving this, redoubled their efforts, but in 
vain. The pursuers gained on them rapidly. 

An exclamation of surprise burst from those in the 
boat as they observed two splashes, one on either side of 
the canoe, as if some one had fallen or leaped overboard. 
A great shout from the savages followed, and they 
suddenly ceased to paddle. The canoe was still too far 
off for the pursuers to make out what had occurred ; but 
in another minute they observed that two round black 
objects emerged from the water some distance astern of 
the canoe. The savages also saw these, and uttered a 
frightful yell as they backed their craft towards them. 

"They've jumped overboard!" exclaimed Dominick. 
" Now, boys — ready with your guns !" 

No need for this order. All were ready in a second, 
but none dared to fire for fear of hitting the swimmers. 

Just then a savage rose in the stern of the canoe and 
poised a short spear. 

Instantly every gun in the boat was pointed. 

" Not a shot !" shouted Dr. Marsh, as he sprang forward 
with a double-barrelled rifle in his hand. 

" Keep her away two points I" he cried, as he knelt to 
take aim. Every one was well aware of the doctor's power 
of shooting, and waited the result with bated breath. 
The savage seemed to bend backward for the cast of the 



198 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

spear. At that moment the crack of the doctor*s rifle was 
heard, and the right arm of the savage fell. 

Another savage caught up the spear, and urged his 
comrades, apparently, to back the canoe still further ; but 
they had got a fright, and were evidently unwilling to do 
so. Before they could make up their minds, another shot 
from the doctor's rifle sent the second savage headlong 
into the bottom of the canoe. 

*'' Give them a volley now, lads," he said, turning 
round and resuming his place at the helm ; " but fire 
high." 

TJie rattling volley which followed, and the whistle of 
the leaden hail over their heads, quickly settled the savage 
minds. One of their paddles, which chanced to be held 
aloft at the moment, was shot into splinters, and pre- 
cipitated their decision. With a howl of rage and terror 
they dipped their paddles into the sea and flew ahead. 

"Be ready there," cried the doctor, as he anxiously 
guided the boat. 

'- Teddy Malone, Morris, Dominick, and Jabez leaned 
eagerly over the bows with outstretched arms and claw- 
like fingers. Another moment and Queen Pina with 
Otto were rescued from the deep, as well as from several 
sharks, which, doubtless, had been licking their lips at 
the prospect of the royal feast in store for them. 

"Ain't you goin' to carry on, an' sink the varmints?" 



A TAT.E OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 19D 

exclaimed Jabez in surprise, as the doctor put the helm 
hard down, and prepared to return home. 

" ]N"o," replied the doctor sharply. 

During the voyage out the crew of the wrecked ship 
had become intimately acquainted with the doctor's 
qualities, among others that there was a certain quiet 
tone in his " no " which was final. To put the belligerents 
of the party more at rest, however, Dominick backed his 
friend up by adding that he had no ill-will to the miser- 
able savages ; that they had been punished enough already ; 
that they had got all they wanted from them ; and that as 
their own party consisted chiefly of settlers, not wairiors, 
there was no occasion for fighting. 

" Speak for yourself, Dom," cried Otto, as he wrung the 
water out of his garments. " If I was in that canoe with 
a good carving-knife, I'd be warrior enough to give a 
settler to the baboon wi' the swelled nose who crammed 
me into a " 

The remainder of the speech was drowned in laughter, 
for Otto spoke with intense indignation, as he thought of 
the injuries and indignities he had so recently suffered. 

"Why, what did they do to you, Otto?" asked his 
brother. 

" Oh ! I can't tell you," replied the other j " I 'm too mad. 
Tell 'em, Pina." 

Queen Pina, who had also been engaged for some 





/ 
200 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

minutes in wringing the water from her skirts, sat down, 
and, in the sweetest of voices, told how they had been 
surprised on the islet, how Otto had flattened a chiefs 
nose with an oar, and how they had afterwards been 
carried off. 

"Then," she added, "when they saw that you were 
unable to overtake them, the chief with the swelled nose 
began to beat poor Otto and pull his hair savagely. I do 
believe he would have killed him if a man who seemed 
to be the leader of them all had not ordered him to desist. 
When you put up the sail and began to overtake us, the 
chief with the swelled nose got out a rough kind of sack 
and tried to thrust Otto into it. While he was struggling 
with this chief — 



» 



"Fighting," interrupted Otto; "fighting with the 
, baboon." 

" Well, fighting, if you prefer it — he asked me if I was 
brave?" 

" No, I didn't ; I said game." 

" Well — if I was game to jump overboard at the same 
moment that he did ? I quickly said yes. He twisted 
himself out of the man's — — " 

" Baboon's ! baboon's ! " 

" Well — baboon's grasp, and went over the side like an 
eel, and " 

" And she/' interrupted Otto, " she went plump on tho 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEEN HEMISPHERE. 201 

other side like a sack of potatoes, and we met under the 
canoe and dived well astern before coming up for breath. 
You know what pains you took with our swimming and 
diving, Dom ; it helped us then, I can tell you ; and so 
here we are, all alive and hearty. But I saw the black 
fellow goin' to send a spear at Pina, and can't think why 
he didn't let fly. P'r'aps he did, and missed." 

" No, he didn't ; for Dr. Marsh shot him in the arm," 
said Dominick, " and thus saved Pauline's life." 

" Three cheers for the Queen ! " cried little Buxley, who 
had done good service at the oar, and whose little bosom 
was filled with enthusiasm at the recital of this adventure. 

The invitation was heartily responded to. 

" An' wan more for the doctor ! " shouted Malone. 

In this rejoicing frame of mind they returned to Big 
Island, where Pauline was received with a warm embrace 
by the widow Lynch, who had been dancing about the 
settlement in a more or less deranged state ever since the 
boat left. 

That same evening two meetings of considerable im- 
portance took place in the palace. The first was a 
cabinet council in the hall ; the other a meeting of 
conspirators in the back-kitchen. Both were brief, for 
each was interrupted. We will take the cabinet council first. 

The ministers present at it were the premier, Dominick; 
and Dr. Marsh, both of whom Joe had called to hia aid., 



202 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" Now, my dear queen," said the premier, " we have 
met to consider the constitution ; but before saying a word 
about it myself, I would like to hear what your majesty 
has to say about it." 

" I 'm not sure," said the queen gravely, " that I have 
the faintest notion as to how a constitution should begin 
or end. But I will give you a motto to set in the fore- 
front of our constitution, which may also form the 
foundation on which it is to be built — the pattern to 
which its parts must conform. It is this : " Whatsoever ye 
would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." 

" I will set that down with pleasure," said Dominick, 
who acted as clerk, but before he could write a line a 
knock at the door interrupted them. Then the door 
opened, and Otto's head appeared with eagerness in the 
eyes, and a beckoning hand in advance. 

Dominick rose and went out. 

"I've just overheard Morris and Jabez in the back 
kitchen making an appointment. Shall I tell our squad 
to be ready ? " ^ 

"Where is the appointed place ?" asked Dominick. 

" On the reef. They start this very night, for the wind 
suits, and I heard Hugh say that all was ready." 

" Good ! I didn't think the game was so nearly played 
out. Well for us that we are prepared. Yes, call up the 
squad. We'll give them checkmate to-night." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 203 

It must be explained here that ever since the night of 
the discovery of the plot organised by Morris to seize and 
carry off the wrecked ship, Otto and his brother had kept 
a close watch on the men, and were aware of all their 
plans and intended movements. They had also communi- 
cated their knowledge to a select few, whom Otto styled 
the squad, who had pledged themselves to be ready at 
a moment's notice to do their best to circumvent the 
conspirators. Among other things Otto had discovered 
that Malines had agreed to join them, professing himself 
quite willing to act as second in command under Morris. 

It may also be explained that though we have hitherto 
spoken of the vessel which had been cast on the reef as a 
wreck, it was in reality very slightly injured about the 
hull, and much of the damage done to the spars and 
rigging had been quietly repaired by the conspirators. 

When darkness shrouded land and sea, two expeditions 
started from the settlement that night — one following the 
other. The conspirators in the largest boat set off first. 
As it was no unusual thing for a night expedition to the 
reef in order to transport supplies from the wreck in the 
morning, the departure of the large boat attracted little 
notice. 

When it had got well away a smaller boat set off, con= 
taining the " squad," which numbered among its members 
Dominick, the doctor, Otto, Joe, and his brother David, 



204 tHE ISLAND QUEEit : 

Teddy Malone, little Buxley, John Nobbs the blacksmith, 
and others, all of whom were armed with revolvers. 

They steered for a different part of the reef, so as to 
avoid being seen by the conspirators. On landing they 
passed through the old burial-ground and made for the 
Golden Cave. This place had, since the settlement on 
Big Island, been given over entirely to Pauline's use, 
and being styled the Queen's seaside palace, no one ever 
thought of entering it without permission. Hence the 
party of observation knew that it would be a secure place 
of ambush. 

When safe inside, Dominick and Otto were deputed to 
go out as quietly as possible, note what Llorris and his 
men were doing, and bring back a report. 

" For," said the doctor, " if we interrupt them too soon 
they may pretend that this is one of their ordinary visits 
to the ship for supplies, and if we are too late they may 
get clear away in spite of us. We must strike when the 
iron is hot." 

"Yes," said Otto, looking back as he followed his 
brother, " we '11 look well to the heating process and let 
you know when they 're white hot, so have your revolvers 
ready, my braves 1 " 

" Och ! shut your tatie-trap," cried Malone, but Otto, 
having shut the door, lost the advice. 

The night was neither decidedly light nor dark. There 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 205 

ought, indeed, to have been moonlight, but clouds veiled 
th^ light though they could not altogether obscure it ; 
thus there was just enough to render objects dimly visible. 

" All the better," whispered Dominick, as they turned 
the point of rock that hid the wreck from view. " We'll 
go down by the thicket. Keep close to my heels, boy, and 
drop on your hands and kuees when you see me do so." 

" All right, captain." 

Gliding cautiously down in the direction indicated, they 
came at length to the seaward edge of the thicket, where 
the bushes, being less dense, permitted them to partially 
see the wreck. Here Dominick went on all- fours, 
appearing, as he crept slowly forward, like some sort of 
huge bear with no tail, and its hind feet turned the wrong 
way. Otto followed like a little bear with similar undigni- 
fied peculiarities. Having advanced far enough to obtain, 
a clear view of the wreck, the spies sank into the grass and 
crept forward a little way. Then they lay still a few 
moments and listened. They then raised their heads 
cautiously and looked. What they heard and saw 
puzzled them not a little. 

First, they noted that the wreck did not seem to lie in 
the position with which they had been so long familiar. 
Then, as their eyes became accustomed to the faint light, 
they observed that a small boat was moving busily about 
the vessel's bow, and that a group of dark scarce-distin- 



206 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

guisliable forms of men was standing on the shore. Pre- 
sently there was heard a low, yet not unfamiliar growl. 
This was followed by a high yet not unfamiliar shriek, 
accompanied by a grating sound. 

"Lions and cockatoos !" whispered Otto, who had crept 
up alongside of his brother by that time, " what can they 
be about?" 

*' Is that a line I see athwart the sky ?" asked Dominick, 
"look — ^just between the wreck and the big ledge there." 

Said Otto, " It 's more than a line. I see it Half a 
dozen lines at least, and something like a round lump in 
the middle of 'em. Don't you see it ? — against the sky like 
a black moon " 

" Hush ! boy — the growl again !" 

"Ay, man, also the cockatoo." 

" Oh ! I have it now," whispered Dominick, with a low 
laugh ; " they 've rove blocks and tackle from the ship to 
the rocks, and are working them softly. Evildoers fear 
to be overheard, even when there's no chance of being so ! 
Your lion. Otto, is the subdued yo-heave-ho of the men." 

"I see," said Otto, with a grin so broad that his white 
teeth glistened even in the dark, "and my cockatoo is 
the WTisubdued screeching of the block-sheaves ! They 
must be trying to get the ship off the reef." 

A heavy plunge at that moment told that the conspira- 
tors were not only trying but had succeeded, for the 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 207 

plunge was followed by an irresistible tliougb powerfully 
suppressed cheer. 

"We have not a moment to lose, Otto," whispered 
Dominick. "The ship is free, and they will only take 
time to carry the tackle aboard before embarking. Do 
you run back and bring the squad down at the double. I 
will keep our friends here in play till they come." 

Not a word did Otto reply. He had acquired that first 
of requisites in a soldier or servant — the habit of prompt 
obedience. Somewhat like a North American sava^fe, he 
sank into the grass and wriggled from the scene. A few 
moments later Dominick rose, and walked down towards 
the conspirators with the easy off-hand manner of a man 
who saunters forth to enjoy the night air. So busy were 
they getting the tackle into the boat that he was not 
observed until quite close to them. 

" You seem busy to-night, friends," he said, in his usual 
pleasant tones, as he took his stand close beside Hugh 
Morris, who was near the bow of the boat. 

"Mr. Rigonda!" exclaimed Malines in great surprise, 
coming forward at the moment. 

" Why are you surprised ? It is not unusual for me to 
take a row on a fine night." 

This reply seeming to imply that Dominick had come 
to the reef alone — perhaps in the dingy — emboldened the 
men ; some of them laughed. 



20$ tHE ISLAND QtJ^ElT : 

*' Well, I confess to being a little surprised, sir," replied 
the mate, *' for it so happened that we were preparing 
something in the nature of a surprise for you and the 
rest of the settlers." 

" Yes, I see," returned Dominick, in the same pleasant 
tone. " You 've managed to get the ship off the ledge in a 
very creditable manner, and you mean to take her into 
the lagoon and cast anchor off the settlement ? " 

Again the men laughed lightly. 

" No, sir, we don't," broke in Hugh Morris at this point, 
" we intend to take her in quite the opposite direction, 
and clear off to sea with her." 

" Oh no, you don't, Hugh," returned Dominick, with 
an agreeable smile, which was a little perplexing as well 
as exasperating. " You are going into the lagoon ; you 
know you are, and I have come to help you." 

" But I say we are not .'" retorted Morris, in rising 
wrath, " and what 's more, you '11 have to go along with us, 
now that you 've had the ill-luck to fall in with us." 

" Quite right, Hugh ; didn't I say that I came off on 
purpose to go along with you?" 

As he spoke there was heard a rushing sound of feet 
and a number of dark forms were seen approaching from 
the bushes. 

"Betrayed!" shouted Maiincs. "Jump in, lads, and 
shove off 1" 



Jl tALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISrHERfe. 209 

He sprang forward, but was instantly arrested by tlie 
muzzle of a revolver within a foot of his head. 

" It 's of no use, boys," said Dominick, laying his hand 
on the bow of the boat. " You '11 have to enter it as dead 
men if you do so without my permission." 

Had the men been armed it might have gone hard with 
Dominick at that moment, but so sure had they been of 
accomplishing their purpose unmolested, that the idea of 
arming had never crossed their minds. Before they could 
recover from the surprise or decide what to do, the armed 
squad was upon them. 

" Halt ! boys," cried Joe Binney, when close to the 
boat. " Now, look 'ee here. It warn't o' my seekin' that 
I was made prime minister, but now that it 's bin done 
I '11 stick to it an' do my duty. If ye knock under like 
good boys I'll recommend ye to the queen's marcy. If 
not I '11 have 'ee strung up, every man jack of 'ee. More- 
over, the first man as disobeys my orders I '11 blow his 
brains out. Kow, jump aboard, boys (turning to his own 
men), an' keep your revolvers handy. You lads as wanted 
to run away will follow." 

The mixture of humour and resolution in Joe's manner, 
coupled with his well-known decision of character and 
his commanding size, had its effect. The squad instantly 
jumped into the boat, and the conspirators meekly fol- 
lowed without a word. They saw — as Hugh afterwards 



210 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

expressed it — that the game was up, and made up their 
minds to submit to the inevitable. 

The conspirators were ordered to take the oars. After- 
wards they were made to work the ship round into the 
channel leading to the lagoon, w^hile their armed friends 
mounted guard over them.^ 

It was daybreak when the ship sailed calmly over the 
lagoon towards Silver Bay. '4 

" Och ! man," said Teddy Malone, in a low voice, to 
J^bez Jenkins, who stood near him, " why did ye want to 
run away wid the owld ship ? It wor a sneakin sort o' 
thing, warn't it, seein' that the poor little childers an' the 
women depind so much on what's inside of her?" 

"To tell 'ee the truth, Teddy," replied the man, an 
improved expression coming suddenly over his face, "I 
ain't sorry that we 've bin stopped in this business, and, 
wot's more, I believe that most of us ain't sorry. We 
was more than half led into it, d' ee see, by lies as to 
what the leaders was goin' to do, an' arterwards we didn't 
like to draw back." 

" I 'm sorry for yez," returned Malone, " for I 'm afeared 
we '11 have to skrag the wan half of ye to keep the other 
half in order. In a spik an' span noo settlement, where 
ivvery wan thinks he may do as he likes, the laws has to be 
pritty stiff. Ye 've wan comfort, howivver — the quane is 
marciful." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 211 

The Irishman was right in both his views on this 
subject, as the sequel will show. 

Great was the surprise and joy among the settlers that 
morning when the fine ship in which they had traversed 
the ocean sailed grandly over the lagoon, and let go her 
anchor in Silver Bay. Some viewed her as a means of 
continuing the voyage and escaping from a secluded life 

of which they were beginning to tire. Others thought of 

li 

her as a means of reopening intercourse with home, while 
not a few thought only of the convenience of having her 
and her useful cargo so near to them. 

But great was their surprise when Malines, Morris, 
Jabez, and the rest of them were landed with their hands 
bound behind their backs ; and still greater was that 
surprise when, in open court, that is, in the midst of the 
entire colony in the open air, these men were charged 
w'tli their crime. 

A regular criminal court was instituted on the spot, as 
regular, at least, as was possible, considering the almost 
total ignorance of all concerned in regard to matters of 
law. Queen Pauline appointed Dr. Marsh to be judge, 
he being supposed to be the best acquainted with, or 
least ignorant of, legal matters and forms. A jury of 
twelve men were selected by lot, and little Buxley was 
appointed public prosecutor. In justice to the prisoners 
it was thought that they ought to have an advocate to 






•*^ 



212 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

defend them, but as no one would undertake the duty, 
that also was settled by lot, and the lot fell upon Bed- 
ding, who, being a gentle and meek man, was perhaps 
best suited for it. 

We may not go into the details of this celebrated trial, 
which lasted the greater part of the day, and was watched 
with intense eagerness by the entire population, including 
some of the older children, who had become impressed 
with the delightfully-horrible idea that a hanging or 
shooting, if not flaying and roasting, of some of the 
criminals would be the certain result. Suffice it to say 
that there was grievous irregularity in the proceedings : 
the public prosecutor not only proved the guilt of the 
men, but in the fervour of his indignation suggested the 
nature of tlieir punishment ; the jury not only listened 
to the facts of the case, but commented on them freely 
throughout, and, usurping the judge's office, pronounced 
sentence on the criminals three or four times over ; while 
the judge himself had the greatest possible difficulty in 
keeping anything like order all round. 

The only man who performed his duty calmly was 
Eedding, who, in a speech that quite surprised and trans- 
fixed the hearers, sought to point out that the men on 
trial had not actually committed the crime with which 
they had been charged, that of seizing the ship, but had 
£)nly contemplated it, as had been alleged, though even 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 213 

that had not been clearly proved ; that, supposing the 
crime to have been committed, it was a first offence, and 
that justice should always be tempered with mercy, as was 
taudit in that best of all law-books, the Bible. 

The pleading of this man had considerable effect, but 
it could not turn the tide of feeling in favour of the 
principal prisoners for more than one reason. They had 
been domineering, turbulent fellows all along ; they had 
meditated a crime which would have robbed the settlers 
of many of the necessaries and all the luxuries of life, 
and this displayed a meanness of spirit which, they 
thought, deserved severe punishment. 

Accordingly, after they had been pronounced guilty by 
the unanimous voice of the jury, and after the judge had 
consulted earnestly with some members of the privy 
council, Malines and Morris were condemned to a fort- 
night's imprisonment on short allowance of the poorest 
food, and the other criminals to the same for a week. 

When Malines had been seized and bound on board the 
ship, he had submitted, partly from prudence, and partly 
from a belief that the whole affair was a sort of half joke ; 
but when he found himself rebound, after the trial, and 
cast with his companions into a solid wooden building 
with a strong door and no window, which had been 
erected as a sort of fortress in which to put the women and 
children in case of attack by the savages, and there pro- 



214 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

vided with maize and water for food and straw for bed, 
he began to realise the fact that he had indeed fallen 
into the hands of resolute men and under the power 
of law. 

" I wouldn't mind it so much if they 'd only not cut 
off our baccy," he groaned, on the afternoon of the 
following day, after a prolonged fit of sullen silence. 

" After all it sarves us right," growled Hugh Morris. 

" Speak for yourself," said Jabez Jenkins sulkily. 

" That *s just what I do," retorted Hugh. 

" Hear, hear ! " from some of the others. 

What this conversation might have grown to no one 
can tell, for it was interrupted by the opening of the 
prison door and the entrance of a party of armed men. 

"I am directed," said Otto, who was in command of 
the party, " to bring you fellows before the queen, so, 
come along." 

Half amused by and. half contemptuous of the leader, 
who gave his orders as if he were a powerful giant, the 
prisoners rose and marched out. 

While this scene was taking place in the jail, the 
widow Lyuch was holding a private interview with the 
queen in the palace. 



A TALE OF T!iE SOUTIIEnN nEMISPIIEEE. 215 



CUAPTEE XL 

SHOWS HOW THE QUEEN CONDUCTED HERSELF IN TRYING CIRCUMSTANCES, 

AND WAS FINALLY DETHRONED. 

" "NT^^^' darlin'," said Mrs. Lynch to Queen Pauline, as 
she sat on the side of her bed looking con- 
templatively at the floor, " thim rascals 11 be in the Hall 
in two minits, so take me advice and give them more nor 
they've got." 

" But my object in sending for them is not to add to 
their punishment," said the queen. 

" More 's the pity, for they need it, an' the Coort was 
too tinder wi' them intirely. Two weeks ! why, two 
months would do them more good. Anyhow, see that ye 
give them a fearful blowin' up." 

" I '11 do what I can for them," returned Pina, with a 
pleasant laugh, as she rose and passed into the Audience 
Hall, where the prisoners and as many of the settlers as 
could find room were already gathered. 

Here a slight change of feeling seemed to have taken 
place in the people. Perhaps the sight of Hugh and 



216 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

Malines — two men who had, np till that time, carried 
matters with rather a high hand — bound, humbled, help- 
less, and with bits of straw which had been given them 
as bedding sticking to their garments, induced a touch of 
pity. At all events, there was none of that riotous 
demand for vengeance which had characterised them 
when under the influence of excitement at the trial 
Evidently a slight reaction in favour of the culprits had 
set in, and the entrance of the queen, therefore, took place 
in solemn silence, no one knowing why she had sent for 
the men or what were her intentions. Poor Pauline was 
much embarrassed by the silence and by the situation in 
which she found herself. Being a girl of mind, and not 
a mere human machine made and content to run always 
on beaten paths, she had resolved to try an experiment, 
and braced herself to the duty. 

It was by no means a new experiment ; on the con- 
trary, it was older than this world's history, though new 
to Pauline in the particular circumstances — being an 
application of the law of mercy. 

"My friends," said Pina, in a some^vhat tremulous 
voice, which however became firmer as she proceeded, 
" this is the first trial that has taken place in our little 
colony, and as crime must be firmly repressed " 

("Punished, my dear — putt it stronger!" came in 
a whisper from the side door, where widow Lynch was 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHEEN HEMISPHEEE. 217 

listening ; but, fortunately, none of tlie audience heard 
ler.) 

" I feel," continued Pauline, taking no notice of the 
,dvice, "that it becomes me, as your chosen queen, 
do what I think will be best for the interests of the 
community." 

" Hear, hear !" exclaimed some of the audience ; but 
they gave no further expression to their feelings, being 
still uncertain as to the queen's leanings. 

" No doubt," continued Pina, trying, not quite success- 
fully, to swallow the lump in her throat, " the punishment 
which you have awarded these men is in strict accordance 
with your ideas of justice, and, being utterly ignorant of 
law, I will not presume to doubt the wisdom of your 
decision ; nor would I interfere, either by increasing or 
decreasing the punishment, did I not feel that this case 
is peculiar, very peculiar. It is, as I have said, the 
beginning of crime in our kingdom, and little beginnings, 
you all know, often lead to great results. A small leak 
may sink a ship. Then, in the second place, this is the 
first offence committed by these men, and first offences 
require peculiar treatment " 

(" That 's so, my diQd,x—jpowerful treatment. Give it 
'em hot !" inaudibly whispered the widow.) 

" Turning to that Book," continued Pauline, " which 
shall be my guide in every act of life, I find that God 



218 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

* deliglitetli in mercy.' Can I go wrong in following 
humbly in His footsteps ? I think not. Therefore, I 
venture to exercise the privilege of my position, and ex- 
tend mercy to these men. The law has been vindicated 
by their trial and condemnation. I now, in accordance 
with constitutional right, bestow on them a free pardon." 

This, being rapidly uttered, quite took the people by 
surprise, and caused them to burst into a ringing cheer 
above which the no longer inaudible voice of the widow 
was heard to exclaim — "Free parding, indeed !" in tones 
of indignant contempt, as she shut the door with a bang 
and retired in disgust from the scene. 

" I do not know," said the queen, when silence was 
restored, " on what particular officer of my household " (a 
confused little smile and blush here) " falls the duty of 
setting crim — I mean forgiven men free, so I now order 
the prime minister to cut their bonds." 

Amid some laughter, Joe readily drew forth an enormous 
clasp-knife and obeyed this command. Then the queen, 
stepping forward, held out her hand with a bright smile 
to Hugh Morris. None but an utterl}^ abandoned wretch 
could have resisted that. Hugh gave in at once — seized 
the hand, and not only shook but kissed it heartily. So 
did Malines, and so did the others, and then they all dis- 
persed — Teddy Malone signalling his exit with a cheer 
and a shout to the following effect — 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEEN HEMISPIIEEE. 219 

" Hooroo ! boys — she 's ivvery inch a quane, an' two or 
three eighths over — cut an' dry, ready-made, hot off the 
irons ! We 're in luck — eh ! boys, aren't we ?" 

The latter remark was made, with a hearty slap on the 
back, to little Buxley, who, turning at once and grasping 
Malone in his arms, went in for a vigorous wrestle by way 
of relieving his feelings. 

Whatever may be thought of this matter by men deep 
in the learning of human law, we feel bound to put on 
record that this plan of Queen Pauline I. proved a great 
success, for, from that day forward, Malines and Morris 
and all the other conspirators became excellent members 
of the community — gave up all ideas of piracy on the 
high seas, set to work like men to fence in their properties, 
cultivate their farms, prosecute their fisheries, and other- 
wise to make themselves useful Another result was 
that Silver Bay Settlement began to flourish. 

Similar results usually happen when men give up 
quarrelling and take to working. The schoolroom was 
soon finished. The queen had her Bible classes — plenty 
of Bibles having been found in the ship — and Dominick 
even went the length of venturing to conduct special ser- 
vices on Sundays. 

But, strange to say, the more things prospered on 
the island, the more pensive became the queen, as well as 
Otto and his brother. It was not so with Dr. Marsh, 



220 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

however. Some unknown influence seemed to keep liim 
always in a hearty frame of mind. 

" I can't help it, Dom," said the queen, as she walked 
on the white shore of Silver Bay one evening while the 
sun was descending in a golden blaze, " I can't bear to 
think of them." 

Poor Pauline's mind was running on a cheery bald 
little old gentleman in Java, and a mild little spectacled 
old lady, with knitting proclivities, in England, whose 
chief solace, in a humble way, was an elderly female 
cat. 

"Am I never to see them again?" she added, as she 
sat down on a coral rock, buried her fair face in her hands, 
and wept. 

Dominick tried to comfort her, but in vain. 

" It 's all very well what you say, Dom, but here 
we are settling down as if we meant to stay for ever. 
Even Otto talks less than he used to about Piobinson 
Crusoe, and no ships ever come near us, and the sailors 
don't want to quit the islands, so we can't even use the 
ship we have got, and — and — darling mother I and 
dear, dear papa !" 

If Queen Pina, who broke down at this point, had only 
known that, about the time she was speaking, the dear 
papa was running for his life, covered with mud from 
head to foot, in the midst of thunder and fire and smoke, 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISniEEE. 221 

sue might have mingled horror with loving emphasis as 
she mentioned his name. 

At the time of which we write, the island of Java, in 
the Malay Archipelago, was convulsed by one of those 
tremendous earthquakes which have at irregular intervals, 
from time immemorial, shattered its mountains, over- 
whelmed some of its fairest lands, and killed thousands of 
its inhabitants. It is not our intention, however, to touch 
on this subject more than will suffice to elucidate our tale. 

Deeply interesting is it, at times, to note the intimate 
connection that sometimes exists between places and 
events which seem exceedingly remote. One would ima- 
gine that the eruption of a volcanic mountain in Java 
could not have much influence on the life or fortunes of 
people living on an island nearly a thousand miles distant 
from the same. Yet so it was, in a double sense, too, as 
we shall see. 

The great shock in Java, which overturned the bald 
little old gentleman's chair, causing him to spring up and 
exclaim to his partner, " Hallo, Brooks ! " passed through 
the intervening earth, losing much of its power on the 
way, caused Eefuge Islands to tremble, and Pauline 
to look up suddenly with the exclamation — 

"What's that, Dom?" 

" It is marvellously like an earthquake, Pina* 

Strange to say,. Brooks in Java made precisely the 



222 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

same remark, at about the same moment, to his senior 
partner. 

Thereafter old Mr. Eigonda, who didn't like earthquakes, 
said to Brooks — who didn't mind earthquakes, being used 
to them — " 1 11 start off for England immediately." 

He did start off, even more immediately than he had 
intended, for the neighbouring volcano, as if angered by 
his remark, sent up a shock that shook the surrounding 
houses to their foundations. The senior partner rushed 
out in terror, 'and was just in time to receive a shower of 
mud and ashes while he fled away through fire and smoke, 
as already mentioned. 

The volcano went to sleep again for a short time after 
that little indication of its power, and you may be sure 
that old Eigonda did not wait for its reawakening. One 
of his own ships was on the point of sailing that very 
day. He went on board — after cleaning himself— got 
Brooks to wind up their business relations in the cabin, 
and left for England with a fair wind. ) 

And well was it for the bald little old gentlem^an that 
he did so, for, a few days later, strange sounds and 
appearances were in the air and on the sea. Fine ashes 
filled the sky, so that noon became like midnight, and 
everything betokened that something unusually violent 
must have occurred in the land which they had left. 
Kothing more serious, however, befell our voyager. In 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPnEKE. 223 

due course he reached England, hastened home, and, with- 
out warning, burst in upon his wife while that dear little 
old lady was in the act of remarking to the middle-aged 
cat, in a very dolorous tone, that she feared something 
must have happened to the ship, for her darlings could 
never have been so long of writing if all had gone well 

It was while the cat gazed contemplatively at the ever- 
lasting socks, as if meditating a reply, that old Eigonda 
burst in. 

Starting up with amazing activity and a cry of joy, the 
old lady swept her feline friend from the table — inadver- 
tently, of course — and rushed into her husband's arms, 
while the outraged animal sought refuge on top of the 
bookcase, whence it glared at the happy meeting with 
feelings that , may be more easily understood than 
described. Of course the old man's joy was turned into 
grief and anxiety when he heard of the departure of his 
children and was told of their prolonged silence ; but with 
that we have nothing to do at present. 

We return to Silver Bay, where a sense of insecurity 
had been aroused in the community ever since the tremors 
of the earth to which we have just referred. 

AVith the slumbering of the Javanese mountains, how- 
ever, these tremors and the consequent fears subsided, and 
w^ere almost forgotten in another source of anxiety. 

One morning, while Teddy Malone was walking on the 



224 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

beach of Silver Bay, he observed a small object running 
and stumbling towards him, as if in great haste or fear. 
Hurrying forward to meet this object he soon perceived 
that it was little Brown-eyes, of whom he was very fond. 

"What's wrong, me darlint?" he asked, catching the 
child up and kissing her. 

" Oh, such funny tings me sawd — oder side de rocks," 
replied Brown-eyes, panting ; " come wid me an' see dem. 
Come kik ! " 

" Funny things, eh, mavourneen, what sort of things V* 

" Oh, like beasts. Come kik 1 " 

" They wasn't sarpints, was they ?" said Malone, seat- 
in;]j the child on his shoulder and hastenincj towards the 
rocky point which separated Silver Bay from the land 
beyond. 

" No, no — not saa'pints. Long beasts, like mans, only 
hims not stand and walk, but lie down and crawl." 

Much impressed with the child's eager manner, the 
Irishman hurried towards the point of rocks, filled with 
curiosity as to what the creatures could be. 

"What sort o' bids have they, darlint?" he asked, as 
he neared the point. 

" Hids same as mans, and faces like you, but more 
uglier, all scratched over, an' dey try to catch me, but me 
runned away." 

Teddy Malone's hitherto obtuse faculties were awakened. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHEIIE. 

He stopped suddenly, being by that time convinced thu 
he stood unarmed within spear-throw of savages in am- 
bush. To advance, supposing his conjecture to be right, 
he knew would be certain death. To turn and fly would 
probably be the same, for naked savages could easily over- 
take him even if unburdened with Brown-eyes, whom, of 
course, he could not forsake, and he was too far from the 
settlement to shout an alarm. 

Perspiration burst from poor Teddy's brow, for even 
delay, he knew, would be fatal, as the savages would 
suspect him of having discovered them. 

Suddenly he put Brown-eyes down on the sand, and, 
twisting his figure into a comical position, began to hop 
like a frog. His device had the desired effect ; Brown- 
eyes burst into a hearty fit of laughter, forgot for the 
moment the " funny beasts," and cried, " Do it agin ! " 

The poor man did it again, thinking intensely all the 
time what he should do next. 

"Would you like to see me dance, darlint?" he asked 
suddenly. 

" Oh yis ! " 

Thereupon Teddy Malone began to dance an Irish jig 
to his own whistling, although, being much agitated, he 
found it no easy matter to whistle in tune or time, but 
that was unimportant. As he danced he took care to 
back in a homeward direction. The child naturally fol- 



_G THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

lowed. Thus, by slow degrees, he got beyond what he 
considered spear-throw, and feeling boldness return w^ith 
security, he caught the child up and danced with her on 
his shoulder. Then he set her dowm, and pretended to 
chase her. He even went the length of chasing her a 
little w^ay in the w^'ong direction, in order to throw the 
savages more completely off their guard. By degrees he 
got near to the settlement, and there was met by Otto. 

" You seem jolly to-day, Ted," said the boy. 

" Whist, lad," returned the other, without intermitting 
his exercise. ''Lookasif ye was admirin' me. There 'slot 
of them tattooed monkeys — savages — beyant the pint. 
They don't know I 've found it out. Slink up an' gather 
the boys, an' look alive. I '11 amuse 'em here till you 
come back. An' I say, don't forgit to bring me revolver 
an' cutlash." 

"All right," was Otto's brief reply, as he sauntered 
slowly up towards the bushes. No sooner was he screened 
by these, however, than he ran like a hare to the palace. 

" Halloo ! Dom, Joe, Hugh— all of you — the savages 
again ! Arm — quick ! " 

It needed no urging to hasten the movements of all 
who heard the boy's voice. Ever since the first appear- 
ance of the savages Dominick and the doctor had put all 
the men of the settlement under daily training in drill 
for an hour or so, that they might be better able to act 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 

promptly and in concert if occasion should again occc 
The arms had been collected, and such of them as ^Yere 
not in use stored in a handy position, so that in two 
minutes an armed company was proceeding at a run 
towards the spot on the shore where Malone was still 
performing his antics, to the inexpressible delight of 
Brown-eyes. 

"Where are the spalpeens?" asked the widow Lynch, 
who' had followed the men. 

" Beyant the rocks, mother," answered Malone, as he 
received his w^eapons from Otto and fell into his place 
in the ranks ; ** ye 'd as well take the child home, or 
she 11 be sure to follow — she 's nigh as wild as yerself." 

The widow was indeed fond of seeing, as she used to 
say, "all the fun that was goin'," but on this occasion 
she consented to carry Brown-eyes out of danger while 
the settlers moved at a quick step towards the point. 

Behind that point of rocks a band of savages lay con- 
cealed, as Malone had rightly conjectured. There were 
about forty of them, all armed with clubs and spears, 
evidently bent on attacking the settlement. Of course 
they meant to do it by surprise, and had concealed them- 
selves among the bushes behind the point, where they 
probably would have lain till nightfall if Brown-eyes in 
her wanderings had not discovered them. Their chief would 
have instantly caught and silenced the poor child, had she 



J " THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

not run so far clear of the point that he would infallibly 
have revealed himself to Teddy Malone in doing so. 

When that worthy drew near to the rocks, as described, 
the chief got ready a spear for his reception. When 
Malone took to dancing, the chief condescended to smile, 
or grin, hideously. When he retreated out of range the 
chief consoled himself with the reflection that it was just 
as well, night being the best time for attack. When, 
however, he beheld a band of men moving towards him 
armed with the terrible things that " spouted smoke, fire, 
and stones," a change came over the spirit of his dream. 
After a hasty cocsultation with his comrades he glided 
off in the direction of their canoe. The rest followed, 
and when our settlers at last turned the point they saw 
the foe paddling at full speed across the lagoon. 

Piring a volley of disappointment after them, both in 
words and bullets, they ran to their boats and gave chase, 
but, as on the former occasion, the canoe. proved too swift 
for the boats under oars, and the savages got away. 

The anxiety that naturally filled the breasts of Queen 
Pauline and her councillors at this event was speedily 
forgotten in a recurrence of the earthq^uake which had 
previously alarmed them so much. 

It happened on a calm, bright morniug, when the 
widow Lynch chanced to be washing garments in the 
palace beside the queen. You see they had not much 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHEEE. ^29 

regard for state- ceremonial or etiquette at the court of 
Pauline i. even in public, much less in private, so that 
while the widow was deep in the wash-tub at one end of 
the hall, the queen was busy at the other end patching 
Otto's garments. 

At first there occurred a slight trembling of the earth, 
which the widow, attributing to giddiness in her own 
cranium, recognised with a remonstrative " Ohone ! " 

"Did you feel thatV* exclaimed Pauline, pausing in 
her work and looking up with a slight feeling of 
alarm. 

"What, dearie?" demanded the widow, clearing the 
soap-suds from her red roly-poly arms. 

Before Pauline could answer, the earthquake took the 
liberty of reply by giving an abrupt shake to the whole 
island, which not only set chairs and tables rocking in 
an alarming manner, but drove the entire population from 
their houses in consternation. Among other effects it 
caused Mrs. Lynch to stagger and catch hold of the wash- 
tub, which, far from supporting her, let her fall to the 
ground and fell on the top of her. 

To most of the settlers the sensation of a trembling 
earth was quite new and exceedingly alarming. They 
stopped abruptly after the first rush, and then looked 
about with pale faces, not knowing what to do. Malines, 
however, was cool and collected. He had been in various 



230 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

volcanic regions of the world, and undertook to comfort 
them. 

" Don't be afraid/' he said, when the most of the 
people had gathered round him. " I 've often seen this 
sort o' thing, on the coast o' South America and among 
the Malay Islands. It passes away after a while, and 
often without doin' much damage — though I have seen a 
town shook almost to pieces in about five minutes." 

" And what did they do ? " asked Jabez Jenkins. 

"Och, whirri — hoo!" shouted Teddy Malone, for at 
that moment another shock was felt, more violent than 
the preceding. The earth seemed absolutely to roll, and 
one oi;^two of the huts that had been carelessly built fell 
asunder in partial ruin. 

" Where is my brother — and the doctor 1 " demanded 
Pauline, running up to the group at the moment. 

" They 're away up the mountain, with Joe and Otto,'* 
answered little Buxley ; " I saw 'em start soon after day- 
break — to explore, they said." 

" What do you think should bS" done ? " asked Pina, 
turning naturally to the mate, as being the most intelli- 
gent of those around her. 

"If it's goin' to be bad," said Malines, "I would 
advise you all to git on board the ship as fast as ye 
can, for the land isn't so safe as the water when it takes 
to c[uakin'." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISPHErtE. 231 

"You seem to have had some experience of it. Is it 
going to be bad, think you ? " 

"Earthquakes are deceptive — no man can tell." 

" Well, then, we must do our best at once," said the 
queen, with an air of calm decision worthy of her rank. 
" Go, Mr. IMalines, with your sailors, and get all the boats 
ready. And you, my people, carry down what you esteem 
most valuable and get on board the ship without loss of 
time — for the rest, we are in the hands of a loving and 
merciful God." 

While these events were enacting on the shore, 
Dominick, Otto, the doctor, and Joe Binney were seated 
near the summit of the highest peak, enjoying^ a cold 
breakfast. It was their first visit to that particular 
peak, which had a slight hollow or basin of perhaps fifty 
feet diameter in the centre. 

Just before the first tremulous shock the doctor had 
been explaining to the prime minister the nature of 
volcanoes, and stating his opinion that the cup-like hollow 
before them was an extinct crater. The slight shock 
stopped him in his discourse, and caused the party to 
look at each other with serious faces. 

" It's not extinct yet," exclaimed Otto excitedly, jooint- 

ing to the hollow, the earth of which had suddenly 

cracked in several places and was emitting puffs of 

sulphurous smoke and steam. 

Q 



232 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

They all started up. 

" We 'd better hasten home," said Dominick. 

"Yes— they'll be terribly scared," said the doctor, 
hastily beginning to pack up the remains of their breakfast. 

But before this could be done the second convulsion 
took place. Violent trembling occurred for a few seconds ; 
then the ground in the old crater burst open, and, with 
a terrible explosion, fire and smoke belched forth, sending 
hu<^e fragments of rock and showers of ashes into the air, 
which latter fell around the explorers in all directions— 
fortunately without doing them injury. 

They waited no longer. Without even uttering a word 
they all turned and ran down the hill at full speed. 
Bein<T^ a considerable distance from the settlement, it was 
upwards of an hour before they arrived. By that time 
most of the women and children had been sent off to 
the ship. Pauline, however, had remained on shore to 
direct and encourage the rest, as well as to await the 
return of her brothers. 

"Eight — right — you couldn't have done better," said 
Dominick, when Pauline hastily explained how she had 
acted. 

" It was Mr. Malines, not I, who suggested the plan," 
returned the queen. 

"Hadn't you better go on board yourself?" said the 
doctor, " and leave us to manage." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 033 

" No, I am not a mere puppet, sir," answered Pauline, 
with a little smile, yet firmly. " My place is here till all 
my subjects are safe ! And your duty is to assist in the 
embarkation, not to offer advice to your queen !" 

With a laugh the doctor went off to do his duty, mut- 
tering, "My queen, indeed !" fervently. 

For some time the volcano, which had thus sprung into 
sudden activity, partially subsided, yet there were occa- 
sional tremulous motions of the earth and low growlings 
in the heart of the mountain on Big Island, while several 
minor explosions occurred in the crater, so that the 
thoroughly alarmed settlers hastened the embarkation with 
all despatch. Before night had closed in they were all 
safely on board w^ith most of their lighter valuables and 
tools, though, necessarily, much of their heavier property 
was left behind. Where life is threatened, however, men 
are not apt to mind such losses. 

It now became a question whether they should remain at 
anchor where they were and abide the issue, or proceed at 
once to sea. Some were for remaining, others were for put- 
ting off to sea. There was much wrangling over it at first, 
and the people seemed in their anxiety to have quite for- 
gotten their queen, when she stepped forward, and, raising 
her clear silvery voice, produced a dead calm at once. 

"Joe," she said, " go down to the cabin and await me 
there." 



234 THE ISLAND QUEEN . 

The prime minister obeyed instantly. 

"Now," said Pauline, turning to the people, "choose 
among you six of your number to consult with me, and 
do it at once." 

Of course, the men well known as the best among the 
settlers were instantly named : we need scarcely add that 
among them were Dominick, the doctor, and Malines. 

While these were engaged in consultation below, a ter- 
rible outburst of the volcano settled the matter for them, 
and brought them all hastily on deck. 

The summit of the crater seemed to have been blown 
up into the air with a most terrific noise, while a dense 
mass of smoke, steam, and ashes was hurled upwards, and 
seemed to blot out the sky. Twilight, whicli had been 
deepening, was converted into blackest night in a moment, 
and darkness profound would undoubtedly have con- 
tinued, had it not been for the lurid glare of the fires 
which flashed at intervals from the crater. Suddenly the 
waters of the sea became agitated. The ship rocked 
uneasily, and jerked at her cable, while the terrified 
people clung to shrouds and ropes, and belaying-pins. 
Then the fire on the mountain-top increased tenfold in 
volume and intensity. Another moment, and several 
large holes opened in the mountain-side nearest to them, 
from which streams of molten lava burst forth and began 
to descend towards the deserted settlement. 




- ' A TEEKIBLE OUTCUKST CF THE VOLCANO SETTLED THE ilATTEPv. "— Page 234, 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISrHERE. 237 

At that moment there was a great shout. It had been 
discovered that in the confusion little Brown- eyes had 
been forgotten ! 

A small boat hung at the davits on the port side. It 
was manned instantly. The doctor jumped to the helm, 
Otto followed, and, before any could interpose, the queen 
suddenly stepped in. 

" You are mad ! " cried the doctor. 

" Lower away !" said Pina, as if she had been a trained 
sea-captain all her life. 

Instantly the ropes were eased off, and in a few seconds 
the boat was in the sea and on the shore. They found 
little Brown-eyes sound asleep in her crib, with a river 
of red-hot lava stretching its fiery tongues towards her as 
if eager for a meal ! 

Supple-limbed Otto was first ; he seized the child and 
bore her off to the boat. Another terrible explosion 
occurred just then. Ashes and masses of rock began to 
rain around them. A falling stone struck Pauline's head, 
and she fell. The doctor, who held her hand, seized her 
in his arms and bore her away. A few minutes more 
and they were all safe on board again. 

But there was no time for congratulations. The sea 
which had before been agitated now heaved in wild 
waves, though there was no wind. It was then seen 
that Big Island was actually crumbling— sinking into the 



238 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

water ! The continuous rumbling of the volcano was 
terrible. Intermittent explosions were frequent. To add 
to the horrors of the scene the darkness deepened. As 
the island went down the sea rushed tumultuously in to 
overwhelm it. Then it was that the stout cable, under 
God, saved them from immediate destruction. The ship 
was hurled from side to side like a cork on the boiling 
flood. But no cable could lom:^ withstand such a strain. 
The chain snapped at last, and they seemed to be rushing 
with railway speed to their fate amid surrounding fire 
and overwhelming water, and roaring thunders, and 
raining ashes, when, suddenly, there was a perceptible 
diminution in the turmoil, and, gradually, the waves 
calmed down. With feelinc^s of intense thankfulness the 
terrified people let go their second anchor, though the 
darkness was by that time so thick that they could barely 
see each other. 

It may be imagined what a night of anxiety they 
spent. With Pauline and some others it was a night of 
earnest prayer. 

When the light of day at last broke faintly in the east 
it revealed the fact that Eefuge Islands had actually and 
totally disappeared, and that our settlers were floating on 
the bosom of the open sea ' 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 239 



CHAPTER XII. 



LAST CHAPTER. 



AN Island Queen no longer, Pauline Pigoncla sits on 

the quarter-deck of the emigrant ship gazing 

pensively over the side at the sunlit sea. Dethroned by 

the irresistible influences of fire and water, our heroine 

has retired into the seclusion of private life. 

After escaping from the volcano, as described in the 
last chapter, the settlers resolved to proceed, under the 
guidance of Malines as captain, and Morris as mate, to 
the port for ^Yhich they had originally been bound when 
the disaster on Eefuge Islands had arrested them. 

Of course this was a great disappointment to poor 
Pauline and her brothers, who, as may be imagined, were 
burning with anxiety to get back to England. Eeeling, 
however, that it would be unreasonable as well as selfish 
to expect the emigrants to give up their long-delayed 
plans merely f^ meet their wishes, they made up their 
m.inds to accept the situation with a good grace. 

"You see," said Otto to the ex- queen — for he was 



240 THE ISLAND QtJEEN : 

becoming very wise in his own eyes, and somewhat 
oracular in the midst of all these excitements — " when a 
fellow can't help himself he 's bound to make the best of 
a bad business." 

*' Don't you think it w^ould be better to say he is bound 
to accept trustingly what God arranges, believing that it 
will be all for the best ?" returned Pauline. 

"How can a bad business be for the best?" de- 
manded Otto, with the air of one who has put an 
unanswerable question. 

His sister looked at him with an expression of per- 
plexity. " Well, it is not easy to explain," she said, " yet 
I can believe that all is for the best." 

" Ha, Pina ! " returned the boy, with a little touch of 
pride, " it 's all very well for you to say that, but you 
won't get men to believe things in that way." 

" Otto," said Dr. Marsh, who was standing near and 
listening to the conversation, " it is not so difficult as you 
think to prove that what we call a bad business may 
after all be for the best. I remember at this moment a 
case in point. Come — I '11 tell you a story. Once upon 
a time I knew a gentleman with a stern face and a greedy 
soul, who believed in nothing, almost, except in th9 
wickedness of mankind, and in his own capacity to take 
advantage of that wickedness in order to make money. 
Money was his god. He spent all his time and all his 



A TALE OF THE SOUTH E^N ItEMISrilERt:. 24 1 

strength in making it, and he was successful. He had 
many ships on the sea, and much gold in the bank. He 
had also a charming little wife, who prayed in secret that 
God would deliver her husband from his false god, and he 
had a dear little daughter who loved him to distraction 
in spite of his * business habits ' ! Well, one year there 
came a commercial crisis. Mr. Getall eagerly risked 
his money and over-speculated. That same year was 
disastrous in the way of storms and wrecks. Among the 
wrecks were several of Mr. Getall's finest ships. A fire 
reduced one of his warehouses to ashes, and, worse still, 
one of his most confidential and trusted clerks absconded 
with some thousands of pounds. All that was a very bad 
business, wasn't it ? " 

" It was," assented Otto ; " go on." 

" The upshot was a crash " 

" What ! — of the burninir warehouse ?" 

o 

" No ; of the whole business, and the Getalls were 
reduced to comparative beggary. The shock threw the 
poor little wife, who had always been rather delicate, into 
bad health, rendering a warm climate necessary for her at 
a time when they could not afford to travel. Moreover, 
little Eva's education was entirely stopped at perhaps the 
most important period of her life. That was a bad busi- 
ness, wasn't it ? " 

" That was a much worse business," asserted Otto. 



242 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" Well, when Mr. Getall was at the lowest stage of 
despair, and had taken more than one look over the 
j)arapet of London Bridge with a view to suicide, he 
received a letter from a long-neglected brother, who had 
for many years dwelt on the Continent, partly for economy 
and partly for a son's health. The brother offered him a 
home in the south of France for the winter, as it would 
do his wife good, he said, and he had room in his house 
for them all, and wanted their company very much to 
keep him from being dull in that land of warmth and 
sunshine ! Getall was not the man to refuse such an 
offer. He went. The brother was an earnest Christian. 
His influence at that critical time of sore distress was the 
means in the Holy Spirit's hands of rescuing the miser's 
soul, and transferring his heart from gold to the Saviour. 
A joy which he had never before dreamed of took posses- 
sion of him, and he began, timidly at first, to commend 
Jesus to others. Joy, they say, is curative. The effect 
of her husband's conversion did so much good to little 
Mrs. Getall's spirit that her body began steadily to mend, 
and in time she was restored to better health than she 
had enjoyed in England. The brother-in-law, who was a 
retired schoolmaster, undertook the education of Eva, and, 
being a clever man as well as good, trained her probably 
much better than she would have been trained had she 
remained at home. At last they returned to England, 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 243 

and ]\Ir. Getall, with the assistance of friends, started 
afresh in business. He never again became a rich man in 
the worldly sense, but he became rich enough to pay off 
all his creditors to the last farthing ; rich enough to have 
something to spare for a friend in distress ; rich enough 
to lay past something for Eva's dower, and rich enough to 
contribute liberally to the funds of those whose business it 
is to ' consider the poor.' All that, you see, being the result 
of what you have admitted, my boy, was a bad business." 

" True, but then," objected Otto, who was of an argu- 
mentative turn, " if all that liacliit resulted, it would have 
been a bad business still." 

"ISTot necessarily — it might have turned out to be a 
good business in some other way, or for somebody else. 
The mere fact that we can't see how, is no argument 
against the theory that evenjthing is constrained to work 
for good by Him who rules the universe." 

"What! even sin?" asked Otto, in surprise. 

" Even sin," returned the doctor. " Don't you see that 
it was Getall's sin of greed and over-speculation, and the 
clerk's sin of embezzlement, which led to all these good 
results ; but, of course, as neither of them had any desire 
or intention to achieve the good results which God brought 
about, they were none the less guilty, and w^ere entitled 
to no credit, but, on the contrary, to condign punishment. 
What I wish to prove is that God causes all things to 



244 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

work out His will, yet leaves the free-will of man un- 
touched. This is a great mystery ; at the same time it is 
a great fact, and therefore I contend that we have every 
reason to trust our loving Father, knowing that whatever 
happens to us will be for the best — not, perhaps, for our 
present pleasure or gratification, but for our ultimate best." 

*' But — but — but," said Otto, while premature wrinkles 
rippled for a minute over his smooth brow, " at that rate, 
is it fair to blame sinners when their very sins are made 
to bring about God's will ?" 

"Now, Otto, don't run away with a false idea. Toi 
you to sin with a view to bring about good, is one thing 
— and a very wicked thing, which is severely condemned 
in Scripture — but for God to cause good to result from 
your sin, and in spite of you, is a totally different thing. 
Think of a pirate, my boy, a bloody-handed villain, who 
has spent his life of crime in gathering together enormous 
wealth, with which to retire into selfish enjoyment at last. 
But he is captured. His wealth is taken from him, and 
with it good men establish almshouses for the aged poor, 
hospitals for the sick, free libraries and free baths every- 
where, and many other good and beneficent works. The 
pirate's labours have, in God's providence, been turned 
into this channel. Is the pirate less guilty, or less 
deserving of punishment on that account?" 

Further discussion on this point was interrupted by a 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN IIEMISniEEE. 245 

sharp order from Malines to reduce sail, and the conse- 
quent bustling about of the sailors. 

" Going to blow, think you V asked Dominick, who 
came on deck at the moment. 

" Can't tell yet," replied the mate, " but the glass has 
fallen suddenly, and one must be prepared, all the more 
that the ship has been more severely strained on the reef 
than I had thought. Would Miss Pauline be prepared," 
he added in a lower tone, " to receive the deputation this 
afternoon ?" 

" Yes, she is quite prepared," returned Dominick, in the 
same low tone, " though she is much perplexed, not being 
able to understand what can be wanted of her. Is it so 
profound a secret that I may not know it?" 

" You shall both know it in good time," the mate replied, 
as he turned to give fresh directions to the man at the wheel. 

That afternoon the assembly in the cabin could hardly 
be styled a deputation, for it consisted of as many of the 
emigrants as could squeeze in. It was led by Joe Binney, 
who stood to the front with a document in his hand. 
Pauline, with some trepidation and much surprise ex- 
pressed on her pretty face, was seated on the captain's 
chai^, with an extra cushion placed thereon to give it a 
more throne-like dignity. She was supported by Dominick 
on one side and Otto on the other. 

Joe advanced a few paces, stooping his tall form, partly 



246 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

in reverence and partly to avoid the deck-beams. Clef 
ing his throat, and with a slightly awkward air, he re 
from the document as follows : — 

" Dear Miss Pauline, may it please yer majesty, for ^ 
all regards you yet as our lawful queen, I 've bin appint( J. 
as prime minister of our community — which ain't } 
broke up — to express our wishes, likewise our sentiment 

" That 's so — go it, Joe," broke in a soft whisper frc ^n 
Teddy Malone. 

" We wishes, first of all," continued the premier, " 
say as how we 're very sorry that your majesty's kingdc 
has bin blowed up an' sunk to the bottom o' the sea " 
(" Worse luck ! " from Mrs. Lynch), — " but we congratuk 
you an' ourselves that we, the people, are all alive " — (" i 
kickin'," softly, from Malone—" Hush ! " " silence ! " frc 
several others), — " an' as loyal an' devoted as ever we wa 
("More so," and "Hear, hear!"). "Since the time y( , 
Queen Pauline, took up the reins of guvermint, it has 1; 
plain to us all that you has done your best to rule in t 
fear o' God, in justice, truthfulness, an' lovin'kindne 
An' we want to tell you, in partikler, that your readi: 
out of the Bible to us an' the child'n — which was no pi 
o' your royal dooty, so to speak — has done us all a pov 
o' good, an' there was some of us big uns as needed a lot 
good to be done us, as well as the child'n "^ — ("Sure i.ri 
that 's true, annyhow I " from Teddy). 



4: 



A TALE OF THE SOUTITERN HEMISPHERE. 247 

"l^ow, what we've got to say," continued Joe, clearing 
his throat again, and taking a long breath, " is this — the 
land we're agoin' to ain't thickly'popilated, as we knows 
on, an' we would take it kindly if you'd consent to stop 
there with us, an' continue to be our queen, so as we may 
all stick together an' be rightly ruled on the lines o' lovin'- 
kindness" — (" With a taste o' the broomstick now an' then," 
from Teddy). " If your majesty agrees to this, we promise 
you loyal submission an' sarvice. Moreover, we will be 
glad that your brother. Mister Dominick, should be prime 
minister, an' Mister Otto his scritairy, or wotever else you 
please. Also that Dr. Marsh should be the chansler o' 
the checkers, or anything else you like, as well as saw- 
bones-in-gineral to the community. An' this our petition," 
concluded Joe, humbly laying the document at Pauline's 
feet, " has bin signed by every man in the ship — except 
Teddy Malone " 

" That 's a lie ! " shouted the amazed Teddv. 

" who," continued Joe, regardless of the interrup- 
tion, " not bein' able to write, has put his cross to it." 

" Hear, hear ! " cried the relieved Irishman, while the 
rest laughed loudlv — but not lono:, for it was observed 
that Pauline had put her handkerchief to her eyes. 

What the ex-queen said in reply, we need not put down 

in detail. Of course, she expressed her gratitude for kind 

expressions, and her thankfulness for what had been said 

R 



248 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

about her Sabbatli-scliool ^York. She also explained that 
her dear mother in England, as well as their old father in 
Java, must be filled with deepest anxiety on account of 
herself and her brothers by that time, and that, therefore, 
she was obliged, most unwillingly, to decline the honour 
]3roposed to her. 

" Och ! " exclaimed the disappointed widow Lynch, 
" cudn't ye sind for yer mother to come out to yez, an' the 
ould man in Javy too ? They 'd be heartily welcome, an' 
sure we'd find 'em some sitivation under guvermint to 
kape their pot bilin." 

But these ^ strong inducements failed to change the ex- 
queen's mind. 

Xow, while this was going on in the cabin, a change was 
taking place in the sky. The bad weather which Malines 
had predicted came down both suddenly and severely, 
and did the ship so much damage as to render refitting 
absolutely necessary. There was no regular port within 
hundreds of miles of them, but Malines said he knew of 
one of the eastern isles where there was a safe harbour, 
good anchorage, and plenty of timber. It would not take 
long to get there, though, considering the damaged state 
of the ship, it might take some months before they could 
get her into a fit state to continue the voyage. Accord- 
ingly, they altered their course, with heavy hearts, for the 
emigrants were disappointed at having their voyage again 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEEN HEMISPHERE. 249 

interrupted, while the Eigondas were depressed at the 
thought of the prolonged anxiety of their parents. 

"Now this is a bad business, isn't it ?" said Otto to the 
doctor, with a groan, when the course was decided. 

" Looks like it, my boy ; but it isn't," replied the 
doctor, who nevertheless, being himself but a frail mortal, 
was so depressed that he did not feel inclined to say 
more. 

In this gloomy state of matters Pina's sweet tones 
broke upon them like a voice from the better land — as in 
truth it was — saying, " I will trust and not be afraid." 

About this time the cloud which hung over the emi- 
grant ship was darkened still more by a visit from the 
Angel of Death. The mother of Brown-eyes died. At 
that time Pauline was indeed an angel of mercy to mother 
and child. After the remains of the mother were com- 
mitted to the deep, the poor orphan clung so piteously to 
Pauline that it was scarcely possible to tear her away. It 
was agreed at last that, as the child had now no natural 
protector, except an uncle and aunt, who seemed to think 
they had already too many children of their own, Pauline 
should adopt her. 

When the emigrants reached the island-harbour, with- 
out further mishap, they were surprised to find a large 
steamer at anchor. The captain of it soon explained that 
extensive damage to the machinery had compelled him to 



250 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

run in there for shelter while the necessary repairs were 
being effected. 

"Where are you bound for?" asked Dominick, who 
with Dr. Marsh and Otto had accompanied Malines on 
board the steamer. 

" For England." 

"Tor England?" almost shouted Dominick and Otto in 
the same breath. 

"Yes. Our repairs are completed, we set off to- 
morrow." 

"Have you room for two or three passengers ?" 

" Yes, plenty of room. We shall have to put several 
ashore at the Cape, where I hope to get a doctor, too, for 
our doctor died soon after we left port, and we are much 
in want of one, having a good many sick men on board." 

" Otto," whispered Dr. Marsh, " our having been 
diverted from our course has not turned out such a bad 
business after all, has it ?" 

" On the contrary, the very best that could have hap- 
pened. I '11 never give way to unbelief again ! " 

Poor Otto ! He did not at that time know how deeply 
doubt and unbelief are ingrained in the human heart. He 
did not know that man has to be convinced again and 
again, and over again, before he learns to hope against 
hope, and to believe heartily at all times that " He doeth 
all things well." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 251 

It was with very mingled feelings that the Eigondas, 
Dr. Marsh, and Brown- eyes parted next day from the 
friends with whom they had associated so long. It is no 
exaggeration to say that there was scarcely a dry eye in 
the two vessels ; for, while the settlers wept for sorrow, 
the crews and passengers wept more or less from sym- 
pathy. Even the dead-eyes of the ship, according to 
Malone, shed tears ! As for poor Brown-eyes, who was a 
prime favourite with many of her old friends, male and 
female, before she got away she had been almost crushed 
out of existence by strong arms, and her eyes might have 
been pea-green or pink for anything you could tell, so lost 
were they in the swollen lids. Long after the vessels had 
separated the settlers continued to shout words of good- 
will and blessing, " We '11 never forgit ye. Miss Pauline," 
came rolling after them in the strong tones of Joe Binney. 
" God bless you, Miss," came not less heartily from Hugh 
Morris. " We loves ye, darlint," followed clear and shrill 
from the vigorous throat of the widow Lynch, and a wild 
" Hooray !" from Teddy endorsed the sentiment. ISTobbs, 
the blacksmith, and little Buxley, ran up the rigging to 
make the waving of their caps more conspicuous, and 
when faces could no longer be distinguished and voices 
no longer be heard, the waving of kerchiefs continued until 
the rounding of a cape suddenly shut them all out from 
view for ever. 



252 Tn£ ISLAND QUEEN : 

" Tliank God," said Dr. Marsh, with a voice deepened 
and tremulous from emotion, " that though they have lost 
their queen, they shall never lose the sweet influences 
she has left behind her." 

The great ocean steamer had now cleared the land ; her 
mighty engines seemed to throb with joy at being per- 
mitted once more to " Go ahead, full speed," and soon 
she was cleaving her way grandly through the broad- 
backed billows of the Southern sea — homeward bound ! 

Let us leap on in advance of her. 

The little old lady with the gold spectacles and neat 
black cap, and smooth, braided hair, is seated in her old 
arm-chair, with the old sock, apparently — though it must 
have been the latest born of many hundreds of socks — 
on the needles, and the unfailing cat at her elbow. The 
aspect of the pair gives the impression that if a French 
Eevolution or a Chili earthquake were to visit England 
they would click-and-gaze on with imperturbable serenity 
through it all. 

But the little old lady is not alone now. Old Mr. 
Eigonda sits at the table opposite to her, with his forehead 
in his hands, as though he sought to squeeze ideas into 
his head from a book which lies open before him on the 
table. Vain hope, for the book is upside down. Profound 
silence reigns, with the exception of the clicking needles 
and the purring cat. 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 253 

" My dear," at length exclaimed the bald old gentle- 
man, looking up with a weary sigh. 

" Yes, John V (Such is his romantic Christian name !) 

" I can't stand it, Maggie." (Such is Jier ditto !) 

" It is, indeed, hard to bear, John. If we only knew 
for certain that they are — are gone, it seems as if we could 
bow to His will ; but this terrible and wearing uncer- 
tainty is awful. Did you make inquiry at Lloyd\ to- 
day r 

" Lloyd's ? You seem to think Lloyd's can tell every- 
thing about all that happens on the sea. No, it 's of no 
use inquiring anywhere, or doing anything. We can only 
sit still and groan." 

In pursuance of this remaining consolation, the pool* 
old gentleman groaned heavily and squeezed his forehead 
tighter, and gazed at the reversed book more sternly, 
while the old lady heaved several deep sighs. Even the 
cat introduced a feeble mew, as of sympathy, into the 
midst of its purr— the hypocrite ' 

"It was the earthquake that did it," cried Mr. 
Eigonda, starting up, and pacing the room wildly, " I 'm 
convinced of that." 

" How can that be, John, dear, when you were in Java at 
the time, and our darlings were far away upon the sea ? " 

" How can / teU how it could be, Maggie ? Do you 
take me for a geological philosopher, who can give reasons 



.#- 



■{ 



254 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

for every eartlily thing lie asserts ? All I know is that 
these abominable earthquakes go half through the world 
sometimes. Pity they don't go through the other half, 
split the world in two, and get rid of the subterranean 
fires altogether." 

" John, my dear ! " 

" Well, Maggie, don't be hard on me for gettin* irascible 
now and then. If you only knew what I suffer when — 
but forgive me. You do know what I suffer — there ! " 

He stooped and kissed the old lady's forehead. The 
cat, uncertain, apparently, whether an assault was meant, 
arched its back and tail, and glared slightly. Seeing 
however that nothing more was done, it subsided. 

Just then the wheels of a cab were heard rattling to- 
wards the front door, as if in haste. The vehicle stopped 
suddenly. Then there was impatient thundering at the 
knocker, and wild ringing of the bell. 

" Pire ! " gasped the half-petrified Mrs. Eigonda. 

" No smell ! " said her half-paralysed spouse. 

Loud voices in the passage ; stumbling feet on the 
stairs ; suppressed female shrieks ; bass masculine ex- 
clamations ; room door burst open ; old couple, in alarm, 
on their feet ; cat, in horror, on the top of the bookcase ! 

"Mother! mother! father!" — yelled, rather than 
spoken. 

Another moment, and the bald, little old man was 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 255 

wrestling in the ex-queen's arms ; the little, old lady was 
engulfed by Dominick and Otto ; Dr. John Marsh and 
Brown-eyes stood transfixed ^nd smiling with idiotic joy 
at the door; while the cat — twice its size, with every 
hair erect — glared, and evolved miniature volcanoes in its 
stomach. 

It was an impressive sight. Much too much so to 
dwell on ! 

Passing it over, let us look in on that happy home 
when toned down to a condition of reasonable felicity. 

"It's a dream — all a wild, unbelievable dream!" 
sighed the old gentleman, as, with flushed face and 
dishevelled hair, he spread himself out in an easy chair, 
with Queen Pina on his knee and Brown-eyes at his 
feet. " Hush ! all of you — wait a bit." 

There was dead silence, and some surprise for a few 
seconds, while Mr. Eigonda shut his eyes tight and 
remained perfectly still, during which brief lull the 
volcanic action in the cat ceased, and its fur slowly 
collapsed. 

" Dreams shift and change so ! " murmured the scep- 
tical man, gradually opening his eyes again — " What ! 
you 're there yet, Pina ? " 

** Of course I am, darling daddy." 

"Here, pinch me on the arm, Dominick — the tender 
part, else I '11 not waken up sufficiently to dispel it." 



250 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

A fresh outburst of hilarity, which started the 
stomachic volcanoes and hair afresh, while Pauline Hung 
her arms round her father's neck for the fiftieth time, and 
smothered him. When he was released, and partially- 
recovered, Otto demanded to know if he really wanted 
the dream dispelled. 

" Certainly not, my boy, certainly not, if it 's real ; but 
it would be so dreadfully dismal to awake and find you 
all gone, that I'd prefer to dream it out, and turn to 
something else, if possible, before waking. I — I " 

Here the old gentleman suddenly seized his hand- 
kerchief, with a view to wipe his eyes, but, changing his 
mind, blew his nose instead. 

Just then the door opened, and a small domestic 
entered with that eminently sociable meal, tea. With a 
final explosion, worthy of Hecla or Vesuvius, the cat shot 
through the doorway, as if from a catapult, and found 
refuge in the darkest recesses of the familiar coal-hole. 

" But who," said Mr. Eigonda, casting his eyes sud- 
denly downward, " who is this charming little brown-eyed 
maid that you have brought with you from the isles of the 
southern seas ? A native — a little Fiji princess — eh ? " 

" Hush ! father," whispered Pauline in his ear, " she 's 
a dear little orphan who has adopted me as her mother, 
and would not be persuaded to leave me. So, you see, 
I Ve brought her home." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 257 

" Quite right, quite right," returned the old man, stoop- 
ing to kiss the little one. " I *ve often thought you 'd be 
the better of a sister, Pina, so, perhaps, a daughter will do 
as well." 

"Now, then, tea is ready; draw in your chairs, dar- 
lings," said Mrs. Eigonda, with a quavering voice. The 
truth is that all the voices quavered that night, more or 
less, and it was a matter of uncertainty several times 
whether the quavering w^ould culminate in laughter or in 
tears. 

"Why do you so often call Pina a queen, dear boy ?" 
asked Mrs. Eigonda of her volatile son, Otto. 

" Why ? " replied the youth, whose excitement did not 
by any means injure his appetite — to judge from the 
manner in which he disposed of muffins and toast, sand- 
wiched now and then with wedges of cake — " Why ? be- 
cause she is a queen — at least she was not long ago." 

An incredulous smile playing on the good lady's little 
mouth, Pauline was obliged to corroborate Otto's state- 
ment. 

"And what were you queen of ? " asked her father, who 
was plainly under the impression that his children were 
jesting. 

"Of Eefuge Islands, daddy/' said Pina; "pass the 
toast, Otto, I think I never was so hungry. Coming 
home obviously improves one's appetite." 



258 THE ISLAND QUEEN : 

" You forget the open boat, Pina." 

" Ah ! true," returned Pauline, " I did for a moment 
forget that. Yes, we were fearfully hungry thai time." 

Of course this led to further inquiry, and to Dominick 
clearing his throat -at last, and saying — 

" Come, I '11 give you a short outline of our adventures 
since we left home. It must only be a mere sketch, of 
course, because it would take days and weeks to give you 
all the details." 

" Don't be prosy, Dom," said Otto, helping himself to a 
fifth, if not a tenth, muffin. " Prosiness is one of your 
weak points when left to your own promptings." 

" But before you begin, Dom," said old Mr. Rigonda, 
" tell us where Ptefuge Islands are." ' 

" In the Southern Pacific, father." 

" Yes," observed Otto ; " at the bottom of the Southern 
Pacific." 

" Indeed ! " exclaimed the old gentleman, whose incre- 
dulity was fast taking the form of sarcasm. " Not far, I 
suppose, from that celebrated island which was the last 
home and refuge of our famous ancestor, the Spanish 
pirate, who was distantly related, through a first cousin of 
his mother, to Don Quixote." 

" You doubt us, daddy, I see," said Pauline, laughing ; 
" but I do assure you we are telling you the simple truth. 
I appeal to Dr. Marsh." 



A TALE OF THE SOUTIIEEN HEMISPnERE. 259 

Dr. Marsh, who had chiefly acted the part of observant 
listener up to that moment, now assured Mr. Eigonda 
with so much sincerity that what had been told him was 
true, that he felt bound to believe him. 

" Yes, indeed," said Dr. Marsh, " your daughter was in 
truth a queen, and I was one of her subjects. Indeed, I 
may say that, in one sense, she is a queen still, but she 
has been dethroned by fire and water, as you shall pre- 
sently hear, though she still reigns in the affections of her 
people, and can never be dethroned again ! " 

This speech was greeted with some merriment, for the 
doctor said it with much enthusiasm. Then Dominick 
began to give an account of their adventures, interrupted 
and corrected, not infrequently, by his pert brother Otto, 
who, being still afflicted with his South- Sea-island appe- 
tite, remained unsatisfied until the last slice of toast, and 
the last muffin, and the last wedge of cake had disappeared 
from the table. 

Dominick's intentions were undoubtedly good ; and 
when he asserted that it was his purpose to give his 
father and mother merely an outline of their adventures, 
he was unquestionably sincere; but the outline became 
so extended, and assumed such a variety of complex con- 
volutions, that there seemed to be no end to the story — 
as there certainly seemed to be no end to the patience of 
the listeners. So Dominick went " on and on and on," as 



260 THE ISLAND 9UEEN : 

story-books put it, until the fire in the grate began to 
burn low ; until Otto had consumed the contents of the 
teapot, and the cream-jug, and the sugar-basin, and had 
even gathered up, economically, the crumbs of the cake ; 
until the still eager audience had begun to yawn con- 
siderately with shut mouths ; until the household cat, 
lost in amazement at prolonged neglect, had ventured to 
creep from the coal-hole, and take up a modest position 
on the floor, in the shadow of its little old mistress. 

There is no saying how long this state of things would 
have gone on, if it had not been for the exuberant. spirits 
of Otto, who, under an impulse of maternal affection, 
sprang to his mother's side with intent to embrace her, 
and unwittingly planted his foot on the cat's tail. 

Then, indeed, the convoluted outline came to an abrupt 
end ; for, with a volcanic explosion, suggestive of thunder 
and lightning, inlaid with dynamite, the hapless creature 
sprang from the room, followed by a shriek from its mis- 
tress, and a roar of laughter from all the rest. 

It is not certainly known where that cat spent the fol- 
lowing fortnight. The only thing about it that remains 
on record is the fact that, at the end of that space of time, 
it returned to its old haunts, deeply humbled, and much 
reduced ; that it gradually became accustomed to the new 
state of things, and even mounted the table, and sat 
blinking in its old position, and grew visibly fatter, while 



A TALE OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. 2G1 

the old lady revived old times by stroking it, as she had 
been wont to, and communicating to it some of her 
thoucrhts and fancies. 

o 

" Ay, pussy," she said, on one of these occasions when 
they chanced to be alone together, " little did you and I 
think, when we used to be sitting so comfortably here, 
that our darlino:? were beincj tossed about and starved in 
open boats on the stormy sea ! Ah ! pussy, pussy, we 
little knew — but ' it 's all well that ends well,' as a great 
writer that you know nothing about has said, and you and 
I can never, never be thankful enough for getting back, 
safe and sound, our dear old man, and our darling boys, 
and oar — our little Pauline, the Island Queen." 



TUE END. 



PBINTED BY T, AND A. CONSTABLE, PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTl, 
AX THE EDIKaUKGH UNIVUISIXY PP.Liaa, 






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